Poker Flats and NASA Engineers

Sorry for the sparse postings lately but I have been recovering from an illness. I wanted to post a couple of really cool links in the meantime to keep you going.

The first is from the Poker Flats Research Range in Fairbanks Alaska.

Poker Flats Research Range is the largest land-based rocket research range in the world and the only high-latitude rocket range in the United States. Poker Flat launches scientific sounding rockets, performs satellite tracking and is home to a growing fleet of unmanned aircraft.

Poker Flat Research Range is perfectly located in Interior Alaska. From this site, rockets can launch and fly over the sparsely populated tundra hundreds of miles north of the range with special permission from federal, state and tribal landowners. Additionally, the range is situated beneath the auroral oval – a ring across the circumpolar north where auroras typically occur – providing ample opportunities to continue scientists’ examination of the aurora. Most sounding rocket launches occur between January and March and scientists come from around the world to use the facility for their research projects.

The range’s expansion into the burgeoning field of unmanned aircraft began in 2004. Today, the range has more than two-dozen models that range in size from a 2.5-pound quad-rotor Aeryon Scout to the 40-pound fixed-wing Insitu A-20. Personnel dedicated to the unmanned aircraft efforts are deployed across Alaska to assist in projects that are hazardous or difficult for manned aircraft to maneuver in.” –link here

Watch the launches Live! Poker Flats Launch Webcam (check schedules for launch information)


I just re-watched this great documentary called :

Failure is not an Option – A Flight Control History of NASA

I highly recommend it

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