Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) Mission’s 3-D Look at Earth’s Magnetic Reconnections

by Dr. Ken Kremer, Universe Today & AAAP

NASA GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER, MD – An armada of four identical spacecraft comprising NASA’s groundbreaking Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission will soon fly through Earth’s magnetic reconnection events to capture the first  3-D maps of this little understood process that releases vast amounts of energy into the magnetosphere that protects Earth.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and Ken Kremer observe NASA’s MMS in the cleanroom at Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. Credit: Ken Kremer

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and Ken Kremer observe NASA’s MMS in the cleanroom at Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. Credit: Ken Kremer

On May 12, 2014, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, Science Chief John Grunsfeld and Goddard Center Director Chris Scolese made a special visit to inspect the observatory quartet in their rarely mated and fully stacked launch configuration inside the Goddard cleanroom.  I was there for a firsthand look and detailed briefing from NASA’s leaders and the mission team about the science goals.

“MMS will help us study the phenomena known as magnetic reconnection and help us understand how energy from the sun – magnetic and otherwise – affects our own life here on Earth,” NASA Administrator Bolden told me standing beside the MMS spacecraft.

Magnetic reconnection is the process whereby magnetic fields around Earth connect and disconnect while explosively releasing vast amounts of energy.  It occurs throughout our universe but is best studied ‘in situ’ in Earth’s magnetosphere.  MMS launches in March 2015 aboard an Atlas V rocket at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

For more on my interview with NASA Administrator Bolden about NASA’s MMS and human spaceflight programs read my articles here:

http://www.universetoday.com/111852/nasas-magnetospheric-multiscale-mission-to-provide-1st-3-d-view-of-earths-magnetic-reconnection-process-cleanroom-visit-with-bolden/

http://www.americaspace.com/?p=60403

http://www.sen.com/ken-kremer/orion-team-keeps-options-open-for-september-launch-interview-with-nasa-administrator-bolden

http://www.universetoday.com/112192/why-commercial-crew-is-critical-for-future-exploration-one-on-one-interview-with-nasa-administrator-charles-bolden/

Astronomy Outreach

Antares Rocket Launch to ISS, June 17: NASA Wallops Island, VA. Evening outreach Jun 15-17 at Rodeway Inn, Chincoteague, VA.

Please contact Ken for more info, science outreach presentations and his space photos. Email: kremerken@yahoo.com   website:  www.kenkremer.com, http://www.universetoday.com/author/ken-kremer/

Advertisements
This entry was posted in June 2014 and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s