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NASA Mission to Study Magnetic Explosions Passes Major Review
This image shows the first of four Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission spacecraft just moments after the flight electronics – seen wired into the lower deck -- were integrated. The center core holds the propulsion system. A second hexagonal deck with the scientific instruments will sit on top. Credit: NASA/B. Lambert
On August 31, 2012 , NASA's Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission proved it was ready for its next steps by passing what's called a Systems Integration Review (SIR), which deems a mission ready to integrate instruments onto the spacecraft.
The MMS mission is due to launch in late 2014. It will observe a mysterious process called magnetic reconnection, which creates explosive bursts of energy and which powers a variety of space phenomena from the aurora to giant eruptions of radiation on the sun known as solar flares. The images here show the spacecraft under construction, a process made all the more complex since MMS requires the building of four identical spacecraft.
For more information about NASA’s MMS mission, go to: http://mms.gsfc.nasa.gov/
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Engineers work to install scientific instruments onto one of the MSS spacecraft decks. Credit: NASA/B. Lambert
Karen C. Fox
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD