Satellite signatures of a NASA SLS rocket core stage test

March 18th, 2021 |

GOES-16 Visible, Near-Infrared and Shortwave Infrared images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 Visible, Near-Infrared and Shortwave Infrared images [click to play animation | MP4]

NASA conducted a SLS rocket Green Run Test at Stennis Space Center in southern Mississippi on 18 March 2021. The test began at 2037 UTC, with the engine burn lasting about 8 minutes. Signatures of the resulting condensation cloud (brighter shades of white) were evident in GOES-16 (GOES-East) ABI spectral bands 1 (0.47 µm), 2 (0.64 µm), 3 (0.86 µm), 5 (1.61 µm) and 6 (2.24 µm) (above) — and the dark shadow cast by this cloud could be seen in the band 2, 3 ad 5 images. No distinct thermal anomaly was apparent in the band 7 (3.9 µm) images.

Even though the Full Disk GOES-17 (GOES-West) scan interval was limited to every 10 minutes, a condensation cloud signature was captured on the 2040 UTC image (below).

GOES-17 Visible, Near-Infrared and Shortwave Infrared images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-17 Visible, Near-Infrared and Shortwave Infrared images [click to play animation | MP4]

Thanks to Todd Beltracchi (The Aerospace Corporation) for alerting us about this event.

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