NASA Now Dumping Lithium in Atmosphere for “Experiments”

NASA Rocket Launches Were Scheduled For July 5 – 23

07.01.11

Four NASA suborbital sounding rockets carrying experiments to take measurements in the ionosphere will be launched between July 5 and 23 (including weekends) from NASA’s Launch Range at the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

The project is studying neutral and charged particles in the ionosphere and how each affects the way the other moves resulting in currents in the region. The variations matter because all of our communications and GPS satellites send signals through the ionosphere. A disturbed ionosphere translates to disturbed signals, so scientists want to know just what causes the ionosphere to behave in specific ways.

During the launch period NASA will launch two pairs of rockets consisting of a Terrier-Improved Orion and a Black Brant V. The rockets in each pair will be launched 15 seconds apart. Only one pair of rockets will be launched on any day.

Based on the approved range schedule, the rocket pairs are set for launch between 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. EDT. The experiments on the Terrier-Improved Orion rockets will release lithium in the ionosphere. The resulting clouds are not expected to be visible to the naked eye but will be seen by special cameras on the ground.

For more information on these missions, please visit the following website: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sunearth/news/rockets-atmosphere.html

The rockets will be visible in the Wallops area.

The NASA Visitor Center will open at 8:30 a.m. on launch day for viewing the launch.

http://www.nasa.gov/centers/wallops/news/pfaffLA.htmlLithium: Lithium carbonate (brand names: Eskalith; Lithobid), a drug used as a mood stabilizer for the treatment of manic/depressive (bipolar) disorder. It prevents or diminishes the intensity of episodes of mania in bipolar patients. Typical symptoms of mania include pressure of speech, motor hyperactivity, reduced need for sleep, flight of ideas, grandiosity, elation, poor judgement, aggressiveness and possibly hostility.

Lithium is a positively charged element or particle similar to sodium and potassium and interferes within the cell and on the cell surface with other positively charged atoms such as sodium and potassium. It interferes at several places inside cells and on the cell surface with other positively charged atoms such as sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium which are important in many cellular functions.

Lithium interferes with the synthesis and reuptake of chemical messengers by which nerves communicate with each other (neurotransmitters). Lithium also affects the concentrations of tryptophan and serotonin in the brain. In addition, lithium increases the production of white blood cells in the bone marrow.

Lithium’s effects usually begin within one week of starting treatment, and the full effect is seen by 2 to 3 weeks. Lithium toxicity is a concern. Lithium toxicity is closely related to the blood lithium levels and can occur at doses close to therapeutic levels. Therefore, lithium therapy should only be started if facilities for prompt and accurate serum lithium determinations are available to monitor the lithium levels. The signs of lithium toxicity include diarrhea, vomiting, tremor, mild ataxia (wobbliness), drowsiness or muscular weakness occur.

http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=25566

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One Response to NASA Now Dumping Lithium in Atmosphere for “Experiments”

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