Sun  ID: 11780

MMS Prelaunch Press Briefing

On March 12 from Cape Canaveral Florida, NASA is scheduled to launch the Magnetospheric Multiscale, or MMS, mission, which will provide unprecedented detail on a phenomenon called magnetic reconnection. The process of reconnection involves the explosive release of energy when the magnetic fields around Earth connect and disconnect. These fields help protect Earth from harmful effects of solar storms and cosmic rays. Magnetic reconnection also occurs throughout the universe and can accelerate particles up to nearly the speed of light.

By studying reconnection in this local, natural laboratory, MMS helps us understand reconnection elsewhere as well, such as in the atmosphere of the Sun and other stars, in the vicinity of black holes and neutron stars, and at the boundary between our solar system’s heliosphere and interstellar space.

MMS consists of four identical observatories that will provide the first three-dimensional view of magnetic reconnection. The four MMS observatories will fly through reconnection regions in a tight formation in well under a second, so key sensors on each spacecraft are designed to measure the space environment at rates faster than any previous mission.

For additional visuals regarding the MMS mission and science, please see our MMS Pre-launch Gallery.

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Genna Duberstein (USRA): Producer
Walt Feimer (HTSI): Animator
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NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

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Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS)

SVS >> Magnetic Reconnection
SVS >> Magnetosphere
SVS >> Solar Wind
SVS >> Space Weather
SVS >> Heliophysics
SVS >> Sun and Earth
NASA Science >> Sun
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Sun-earth Interactions >> Solar Activity >> Coronal Mass Ejections

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version