Two NASA ships in N.H. harbor, ready to track SpaceX rocket (if it ever takes off)
Posted by David Brooks | Thursday, April 26, 2012
The launch of the private SpaceX rocket from Kenney Space Center has been delayed until at least next week by software issues, but WMUR-TV reports that two NASA support ships are already in Portsmouth harbor, waiting to cruise 400 miles out to see and track the launch:
The ships are docked in Portsmouth because the rocket will travel northeast once it's launched from Florida.
Both ships carry a Doppler radar system designed to photograph and track supersonic vehicles such as the Falcon 9 rocket."This radar is very sophisticated," Jacobs said. "It's actually worth more than the rest of the vessel put together."On board the Freedom Star is a device called MARS."It's a gyroscopically controlled telescope mount that is used for imaging both high-definition video and thermal imaging for, in this case, a spacecraft," said Allan Keller, MARS team leader.