Sun  ID: 11702

MMS Launch and Deploy - Narrated

In March of 2015, an unprecedented NASA mission will launch to study a process so mysterious that no one has ever directly measured it in action. To create the first-ever 3-dimensional maps of this process, a process called magnetic reconnection, which occurs all over the universe, the Magnetospheric Multiscale, or MMS, mission uses four separate spacecraft equipped with ultra high speed instruments.

Launching four satellites into space simultaneously is a complicated process. In addition, each spacecraft has six booms that will unfold and extend in space once in orbit. A launch and deployment with so many moving parts must be meticulously planned.

Watch the video to get a sneak preview of how MMS will make this journey: The four spacecraft are housed in a single rocket on their trip into space. One by one, each ejects out, before moving into a giant pyramid-shaped configuration. Next each spacecraft deploys its six booms.

Once in orbit, MMS will fly through regions near Earth where this little-understood process of magnetic reconnection occurs. Magnetic reconnection happens in thin layers just miles thick, but can tap into enough power at times to create gigantic explosions many times the size of Earth.

Reconnection happens when magnetic field lines explosively realign and release massive bursts of energy, while hurling particles out at nearly the speed of light in all directions. Magnetic reconnection powers eruptions on the sun and – closer to home – triggers the flow of material and energy from interplanetary space into near-Earth space. The MMS orbit will carry the four spacecraft through reconnection regions near Earth, using this nearby natural laboratory to better understand how reconnection occurs everywhere in space.

For more information about MMS, visit: www.nasa.gov/mms

 

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Credits

Walt Feimer (HTSI): Lead Animator
Chris Meaney (HTSI): Animator
Brian Monroe (USRA): Animator
Gary Davis (NASA): Narrator
Genna Duberstein (USRA): Producer
Aaron E. Lepsch (ADNET Systems Inc.): Project Support
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

Short URL to share this page:
http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/11702

Mission:
Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS)

This item is part of this series:
Narrated Movies

Goddard TV Tape:
G2014-092 -- MMS Launch and Deploy - Narrated

Keywords:
SVS >> HDTV
SVS >> Magnetic Reconnection
SVS >> Spacecraft
SVS >> Hyperwall
SVS >> Deploy
SVS >> Launch
SVS >> MMS
NASA Science >> Sun