MAR 14, 2015 06:00 AM PDT

Four NASA Satellites Scatter to the Winds In Space

Four identical satellites which will study the interactions between solar winds and the Earth's magnetic fields blasted off into Space on Thursday and settled into orbit begin a two-year study, NASA said.

The Atlas V rocket of the United Launch Alliance lifted off from its launchpad from Cape Canaveral in Florida at 22:44 local time (2:44 GMT Friday) as planned at the beginning a 30-minute window of opportunity.

The quartet of spacecraft weighing 1.2 tons known as "Magnetospheric Multiscale" or MMS, will fly in a pyramid formation.They later eased away from each other successfully.

"Spacecraft separation is complete!," NASA said later in a statement two hours later.

"All four of NASA's Magnetospheric Multiscale observatories have been released in orbit, where they'll soon embark on an ambitious mission to unlock the secrets of magnetic reconnection," it added.

They will obtain three-dimensional images and collect data as they monitor collisions from the Earth's magnetosphere and solar particles arriving at high speed and forming their own magnetic field about 60,000 miles from Earth.

Scientists hope to gain a greater understanding of the phenomenon, known as magnetic reconnection.

"Magnetic reconnection is one of the most important drivers of space weather events," said Jeff Newmark, interim director of the Heliophysics Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

"Space weather events can affect modern technological systems such as communications networks, GPS navigation, and electrical power grids."

The $1.1 billion mission is expected to last last two years.

Source: SpaceDaily.com
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
OCT 17, 2018
Space & Astronomy
OCT 17, 2018
Do Magnetic Fields Influence Supermassive Black Hole Activity?
Black holes have long captivated some of the most brilliant minds in astrophysics, and despite all the space telescope observations astronomers have made o...
NOV 04, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
NOV 04, 2018
Mass Destruction-Causing Solar Events Could Be Lurking Around the Corner
The Sun, the center of our planetary system, is always nurturing and providing. But when it is having a "bad" day, we on Earth could be taking so...
DEC 02, 2018
Space & Astronomy
DEC 02, 2018
NASA is Learning More About InSight's Landing Site Post-Landing
Following a six-month journey through space, NASA’s InSight spacecraft made a safe-and-sound landing on Mars’ barren surface last week. Comment...
DEC 03, 2018
Space & Astronomy
DEC 03, 2018
SpaceX Sends 64 Satellites Into Space All At Once in Precedent-Setting Launch on Monday
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk had a lot to be excited about on Monday after his reusable rocket-oriented aerospace company set at least four different records with...
DEC 10, 2018
Space & Astronomy
DEC 10, 2018
Learn More About How NASA Built the Parker Solar Probe
When NASA built the Solar Parker Probe to embark on its mission to study the Sun, they knew it’d need to be built with bleeding-edge technology to ma...
JAN 14, 2019
Space & Astronomy
JAN 14, 2019
Will the X3 Ion Thruster Revolutionize Space Travel?
Chemical burn rockets can produce a lot of thrust, but only for a short period; this makes them ideal for lofting space vehicles out of Earth’s atmos...
Loading Comments...