USU Professor Launches Exploration Of Northern Lights

Feb 9, 2015

A NASA Oriole IV suborbital sounding rocket blasting off from the Poker Flat Research Range.
Credit Jamie Adkins/NASA

In the early hours of Jan. 28, NASA launched a rocket from Poker Flat Research Range in Alaska as part of the Auroral Spatial Structures Probe mission. The rocket’s trajectory was aimed at the Aurora Borealis in an effort to learn more about how solar events affect earth’s atmosphere. Attached to the rocket were six payloads consisting of probes built at the Space Dynamics Laboratory at Utah State University. There to lead the mission was Charles Swenson, director of the Center for Space Engineering at USU.

UPR’s Justin Prather sat down for an interview with Swenson last week after he returned from Alaska to talk about the launch and the science behind the mission.