The NASA sounding rocket payload carrying two space technology development projects goes through GPS checks at the Wallops Flight Facility by technicians Tom Malaby (left) and Darren Ryan. Credits: NASA/Berit Bland

NASA will test two space technology development projects during the flight of a Black Brant IX suborbital sounding rocket at 5:45 a.m. EDT, July 7, from the agency’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. 

The launch window for the 54-foot tall rocket runs until 8 a.m. The backup launch days are July 8 – 10. 

The rocket will carry the SOAREX-8 Exo-Brake Flight Test from NASA’s Ames Research Center in California and the Radial Core Heat Spreader from NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Ohio.

The SOAREX-8 experiment is testing an Exo-Brake that can passively de-orbit an object in space. The Exo-brake utilizes nano-satellite technology housed in a 50-unit Cubesat ejector pod.

The Radial Core Heat Spreader is a new heat transfer technology for Radioisotope Power Systems that substantially reduces the component level mass while providing increased scalability to higher power systems. The Black Brant IX experiment does not contain any nuclear materials.

The flight is being conducted through NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate. 

The payload carrying the development projects is expected to reach an altitude of 217 miles approximately five minutes after flight.  The payload is expected to splash-down in the Atlantic Ocean 164 miles from Wallops Island.  The payload will not be recovered.

Live Ustream coverage of the mission will begin at 5 a.m. EDT on launch day at:

Also, the NASA Visitor Center at Wallops will open at 5 a.m. for viewing the launch which is expected to be visible from southern Delaware to the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay.

More information on NASA’s sounding rocket program is available at:

More information on NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility is available at:

More information on NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate is available at: