Sun  ID: 11795

MMS L-1 Media 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.




Briefing participants include:


Jeff Newmark, interim director, Heliophysics Division NASA Headquarters, Washington

Jim Burch, principal investigator, MMS instrument suite science team Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio

Roy Torbert, MMS FIELDS investigation lead University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire

Craig Pollock, lead co-investigator, MMS Fast Plasma Investigation Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

Paul Cassak, associate professor West Virginia University, Morgantown
















 

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Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

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NASA Science >> Sun