Visualization of the spacecraft orbit transition from apogee at the dayside magnetopause to the nightside magnetopause.
Completing its study of magnetic reconnection at the boundary between Earth and the sun, the MMS spacecraft fleet transitions its orbit to studying magnetospheric events near the shadow of Earth.
Current scheduled maneuver times (subject to change) are:
February 1, 2017: Resize perigee (the point on the orbit closest to Earth) to 60km
February 9, 2017: First apogee (point on the orbit farthest from Earth) raising maneuver
April 8, 2017: Final apogee raising maneuver
April 16, 2017: Perigee resizing
April 26, 2017: Reinitializing formation flying
The magnetosphere boundary represents a point of balance between the pressure of the solar wind passing Earth and the outward magnetic pressure of Earth's magnetic field. The location in this visualization is representative at may not accurately reflect the position relative to the spacecraft at any given future time.