• Fri. Dec 8th, 2023

Elon Musk’s SpaceX Rocket Punches a Hole in the Ionosphere

Elon Musk’s SpaceX Rocket Punches a Hole in the Ionosphere

The Falcon 9 rocket was launched on July 19. (AFP file photo)

A rocket launched by Elon Musk’s SpaceX punched a temporary hole in the ionosphere around our planet, a report says. spaceweather.com. A Falcon 9 rocket launched from the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California on July 19. According to the company’s website, it is a reusable, two-stage rocket for reliable and safe transport of people and payloads to Earth orbit and beyond. SpaceX also said it is the world’s first orbital-class reusable rocket. Falcon 9 made 240 launches and 198 landings.

Photos from the July 19 launch showed a faint red glow, which Boston University space physicist Jeff Baumgardner studied. After examining footage of the launch, he said the red glow indicated a hole in the ionosphere.

“This is a well-studied phenomenon when rockets burn their engines 200 to 300 kilometers above the Earth’s surface,” Baumgardner said. spaceweather.com.

“I have reviewed footage of the July 19 launch. It shows the second stage engine burning at 286 km near the F-region peak that day. Therefore, an ionospheric ‘hole’ is likely to have formed,” he added.

The ionosphere lies at the edge of space and is filled with charged particles called ions. According to NASA, geomagnetic storms cause aurora, interacting with solar plasma ions to create the beautiful colors seen in the sky.

A similar incident involving the same rocket had taken place earlier. according to Science TimesOn August 24, 2017, Falcon 9 launched from Vanderburgh Space Force Station with the Formosat-5 payload.

Due to its low weight, the rocket was launched along a vertical trajectory instead of parallel to the Earth’s surface, creating a shock wave. As a result, it blew a hole in the plasma of the ionosphere.

The same thing happened when the Falcon 9 rocket launched on June 19, 2022, the outlet said.

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