By the Associated Press
Channel 2 News
6:30 AM AKST, February 15, 2012
A NASAsounding rocket to gather information on space weather conditions which affect satellite communications will be launched north of Fairbanks.
The launch window from the Poker Flat Research Range opened Monday and is active through March 2.
The University of Alaska Fairbanks says in a release that the two-stage, 46-foot rocket will be launched through an active aurora.
Findings will allow scientists to understand space weather and how it affects how radio waves travel through plasma.
During a period of high sun activity called solar maximum, the university says ionized gases from the sun could interfere with Global Positioning Systems, satellite internet and other signals.
Data gathered from this launch could help people who design GPS.
The university's Geophysical Institute is the range operator.