NASA mission to study magnetic explosions passes major review

September 5, 2012 by Karen C. Fox
This image shows the first of four Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission spacecraft just moments after the flight electronics – seen wired into the lower deck -- were integrated. The center core holds the propulsion system. A second hexagonal deck with the scientific instruments will sit on top. Credit: NASA/B. Lambert

(Phys.org)—On August 31, 2012 , NASA's Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission proved it was ready for its next steps by passing what's called a Systems Integration Review (SIR), which deems a mission ready to integrate instruments onto the spacecraft.

The MMS mission is due to launch in late 2014. It will observe a mysterious process called , which creates explosive bursts of energy and which powers a variety of space phenomena from the aurora to giant eruptions of radiation on the sun known as . The images here show the spacecraft under construction, a process made all the more complex since MMS requires the building of four identical spacecraft.

Engineers work to install scientific instruments onto one of the MSS spacecraft decks. Credit: NASA/B. Lambert

For more information about NASA's MMS mission, go to: mms.gsfc.nasa.gov/

Explore further: NASA approves space mission to unlock the secrets of magnetic reconnection

Related Stories

Honey, I Blew up the Tokamak

August 31, 2009

Magnetic reconnection could be the Universe's favorite way to make things explode. It operates anywhere magnetic fields pervade space--which is to say almost everywhere. On the sun magnetic reconnection causes solar flares ...

NASA's Magnetospheric Mission Passes Major Milestone

September 6, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- The universe is still an arcane place that scientists know very little about, but a new NASA Solar Terrestrial Probe mission is going to shed light on one especially mysterious event called magnetic reconnection. ...

Instrument integration begins at Goddard on MMS spacecraft

June 8, 2012

(Phys.org) -- The decks have arrived. Engineers working on NASA'S Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission have started integrating instruments on the first of four instrument decks in a newly fabricated cleanroom at Goddard ...

Recommended for you

Astronomers detect the farthest galaxy yet with Keck telescope

September 4, 2015

A team of Caltech researchers that has spent years searching for the earliest objects in the universe now reports the detection of what may be the most distant galaxy ever found. In an article published August 28, 2015 in Astrophysical ...

"Hedgehog" robots hop, tumble in microgravity

September 4, 2015

Hopping, tumbling and flipping over are not typical maneuvers you would expect from a spacecraft exploring other worlds. Traditional Mars rovers, for example, roll around on wheels, and they can't operate upside-down. But ...

4 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

cantdrive85
2.3 / 5 (3) Sep 05, 2012
"Magnetic reconnection is pseudo-science" Hannes Alfven, Nobel Laureate in Physics for his work in magnetohydrodynamics. He would know!
yyz
1 / 5 (2) Sep 05, 2012
""Magnetic reconnection is pseudo-science" Hannes Alfven..."

As well known as Alfven's contribution to science is, scientists are known to make pronouncements that are later proven wrong (cf. Lord Kelvin and heavier-than-air flying machines). But would Alfven disregard *observations* of magnetic reconnection processes by:

the Sun -

http://iopscience...713/1/L6
http://iopscience...ext.html

the Earth -

http://www-2.ners...nn08.pdf

even Mercury -

http://www.scienc...06.short

And here I thought you plasma universe guys were all about actual observations as opposed to fancy theories.

vidyunmaya
1 / 5 (2) Sep 05, 2012
Sub: Science to comprehend
Invisible-Visible matrix holds the key
Plasma regulated Electromagnetic phenomena in Magnetic field Environment
The Science of Cosmology Vedas-Unity in Diversity-By Vidyardhi Nanduri.Complete set of Books-available for interaction- -deal above Van-Allen belts-that answer quest from Alfven to present day Cosmology under revision.This is an opportunity to set science-Philosophy-nature-create cosmology Chairs -East West Interaction
cantdrive85
1 / 5 (1) Sep 08, 2012
""Magnetic reconnection is pseudo-science" Hannes Alfven..."

As well known as Alfven's contribution to science is, scientists are known to make pronouncements that are later proven wrong (cf. Lord Kelvin and heavier-than-air flying machines). But would Alfven disregard *observations* of magnetic reconnection processes by:

the Sun -

http://iopscience...713/1/L6

And here I thought you plasma universe guys were all about actual observations as opposed to fancy theories.



Yes, he would still disregard reconnection, he labeled it as what he discovered, an exploding double layer.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.