Transcripts of DrHollyGilbert_MMS_LS_youtube_hq

[Reporter] NASA is getting ready to launch a new mission that is going to send 4 spacecraft into the heart of magnetic storms around Earth. Here to tell us more about what we can learn from the mission is Dr. Holly Gilbert from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt Maryland, thanks for joining us. [Gilbert] Thanks for having me. [Reporter] NASA is getting ready to launch a new mission in a couple hours, tell us about this mission. [Gilbert] The Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission or MMS, is set to launch tonight at 10:44pm eastern time. It is compromised of four identical spacecraft. Which are going to extend these very long wire booms with very sensitive instruments on each of them. in a formation, a pyramid formation to special regions around the Earth. Where a very powerful process takes place called magnetic reconnection and this process drives some of the most energetic events throughout the universe. [Reporter] How do magnetic storms affect us on the Earth? [Gilbert] The Sun and Earth interact the Sun blows off solar storms that can sometimes be directed towards the Earth and when they impact the Earth they can interact with the Earth's magnetic field. Causing it to deform and twist and snap and then accelerate particles at near the speed of light smashing them into atmosphere of the Earth, which causes the beautiful aurora. but this also has very negative effects, it can cause power grids to go out so we have blackouts that associates with solar storms. Our satellites are susceptible to these storms, as our astronauts and also airlines that are flying over the polar regions. are more susceptible to this radiation so, space weather in general, its very important to be able to predict and understanding the cause this magnetic reconnection is extremely important. [Reporter] Why is important to understand this phenomenon? [Gilbert] Well it doesn't only happen near the Earth. It's a very universal process, very fundamental to many things. It actually happens on the Sun. It drives space weather solar flares, there's magnetic reconnection happening in solar flares and larger storms that come from the Sun. But it also happens in further objects like black holes, the jets that are coming out of black holes are associated with this process because they have magnetic fields surrounding them. So, if we can understand it here near the Earth, that will help us understand the other phenomenon throughout the universe. [Reporter] What can we expect from this mission? [Gilbert] What we really hope that it will help us better understand space weather affects, so when these solar storms impact the Earth how are they going to impact us, when are they going to occur and how dangerous are they going to be to our technology. By getting lots of measurements of the process where it is taking place, we will better be able to hopefully to predict space weather effects right here at the Earth. [Reporter] Where can we learn more about this mission? [Gilbert] Well you can go to our website, to not learn about MMS, but a whole bunch of other missions that are looking at how the Sun impacts the solar system. If you go to [Reporter] Great thanks so much for joining us. [Gilbert] Thank You.