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Launch Of Chemicals Protested

Mon., Feb. 2, 1998, midnight

Nearly 1,000 Puerto Ricans protested Sunday against NASA plans to launch research rockets filled with chemicals at an abandoned U.S. Army base next week.

Chanting “NASA, Go home,” the protesters demanded NASA produce studies showing the launch won’t harm the environment.

NASA plans to launch at least one rocket on Feb. 12 from the Tortuguero base in the northern coast town of Vega Baja. Eleven rockets will be launched over a period of about one month.

The project will measure high-level winds and turbulence in the upper atmosphere.

The rockets will disperse the chemical aluminum trimethol into the atmosphere before crashing back to sea about 60 miles north of Puerto Rico, according to the newspaper Primera Hora.


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