Sun  Planets and Moons  ID: 12589

Getting SET - The Mission to Protect Satellites from Radiation

Summer 2019, NASA’s Space Environment Testbeds, or SET, will launch on its mission to study how to better protect satellites in space. SET studies the very nature of space itself — which isn’t completely empty, but brimming with radiation — and how it affects spacecraft and electronics in orbit. Energetic particles from the Sun or deep space can spark memory damage or computer upsets on spacecraft, and over time, degrade hardware. SET seeks to better understand these effects in order to improve spacecraft design, engineering, and operations, and avoid future anomalies. Spacecraft protection is a key part of NASA’s mission as the agency’s Artemis program seeks to explore the Moon and beyond.

SET is part of the Space Environment Effects (SFx) experiment, one of three experiments on board the Demonstration and Science Experiments, or DSX, spacecraft being launched by the U.S. Air Force.

DSX is launching as part of the Space Test Program-2 (STP-2) mission, managed by the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC). SET is one of four NASA missions on this STP-2 launch — all of which are dedicated to improving technology in space. DSX separates from the launch vehicle approximately 3.5 hours after launch.

SET is the latest addition to NASA’s fleet of heliophysics observatories. NASA heliophysics missions study a vast interconnected system from the Sun to the space surrounding Earth and other planets, and to the farthest limits of the Sun’s constantly flowing stream of solar wind. SET’s observations provide key information on the Sun’s effects on our spacecraft, enabling further exploration of space.

SET is part of NASA’s Living with a Star program, which explores aspects of the Sun-Earth system that directly affect human life and society. The Living with a Star flight program is managed by Goddard.

Source Material



Megan Casey (NASA/GSFC): Engineer
Mike Xapsos (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Genna Duberstein (USRA): Lead Producer
Rob Andreoli (Advocates in Manpower Management, Inc.): Videographer
John Caldwell (Advocates in Manpower Management, Inc.): Videographer
Walt Feimer (KBR Wyle Services, LLC): Animator
Brian Monroe (USRA): Animator
Adriana Manrique Gutierrez (USRA): Animator
Chris Smith (USRA): Animator
Chris Smith (USRA): Narrator
Scott Wiessinger (USRA): Support
Jonathan North (USRA): Animator
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center