AWE Launches to Space Station

Set against a black sky, a rocket rises above a launch pad with a bright yellow glow and trail of white smoke directly beneath it. Plumes of white smoke billow around the launch pad on the ground. In the foreground, the light from the rocket engine is reflected in dark waters.
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Dragon spacecraft lifts off from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2023, on the company’s 29th commercial resupply services mission for the agency to the International Space Station. Liftoff was at 8:28 p.m. EST. Credits: NASA/Kim Shiflett

At 8:28 p.m. EST on Nov. 9, 2023, NASA’s Atmospheric Waves Experiment, or AWE, lifted off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on the 29th commercial resupply mission (CRS-29) for NASA.

An uncrewed SpaceX Dragon spacecraft carrying AWE and over 6,000 pounds of other cargo autonomously docked with the International Space Station at 5:07 a.m. EST on Nov. 11.

Once installed on the outside of the space station, AWE will spend two years studying undulations in the air known as atmospheric gravity waves to understand the flow of energy through Earth’s upper atmosphere and space, helping us better understand the connections between terrestrial weather and space weather.

At night, a large, white rocket stands straight up in the middle of the image. On either side are tall towers. The bottom of the rocket is bright, as if it's lighting up, and golden smoke starts to fill the bottom of the image.
Credits: NASA