Man-made meteorites will be carried aloft in an Army version of the German V-2 rockets, it was announced by Dr. Fred L. Whipple, of the Harvard College Observatory today. These rockets will be part of the Army's efforts to study the behavior of projectiles in the sub-stratosphere, it was revealed.
The test, scheduled for December 17th at White Sands Proving Grounds, New Mexico, will provide scientists with valuable data regarding the course of both artificially and naturally portions of the upper air jut below the actual stratosphere. The rockets are expected co expel satellite projectiles which will follow their own orbits, Whipple explained.
Harvard's contribution to the experiment centers in great part about two giant cameras which will photograph the entire experiment from the desert floor, some twenty miles below the violent explosions in the air above new Mexico. These cameras, equipped with rotating shutters, will record the flight of the cast-off missiles covering as area of 40 to 45 degrees of the sky.
One of the developments expected from the test will be a more accurate measuring of the size and composition of meteorite material, which will be gauged by the intensity and length of the light flashed in the man-made demonstration in December. These computations will take much of the guesswork out of meteorological calculations, Dr. Whipple conjectured.
Many of the strange, almost mystical, phenomena of the sub-stratosphere may be explained by the White Sands experiment.