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NASA Launches 4 Spacecraft To Solve Magnetic Mystery

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posted on Mar, 13 2015 @ 02:08 AM
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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA launched four identical spacecraft Thursday on a billion-dollar mission to study the explosive give-and-take of the Earth and sun's magnetic fields.

Everyday we get smarter and smarter the advancements are astounding can't wait to see the results hopefully they are published for us mere Deconstructors. .



The quartet of observatories will be placed into an oblong orbit stretching tens of thousands of miles into the magnetosphere — nearly halfway to the moon at one point. They will fly in pyramid formation, between 6 miles and 250 miles apart, to provide 3-D views of magnetic reconnection on the smallest of scales.




Once the long, sensor-laden booms are extended in a few days, each spacecraft could span a baseball field.




"We're not setting out here to solve space weather," Burch said. "We're setting out to learn the fundamental features of magnetic reconnection because that's what drives space weather."

That's interesting that they will be able to get more info on magnetics between earth and sun gives us a greater understanding on how space weather effects us.
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edit on 13-3-2015 by ATF1886 because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 13 2015 @ 07:19 AM
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a reply to: ATF1886

Very cool operation - I hope it is a success.

But I thought NASA had run out of funding, so how do these billion dollar projects pop up out of the blue? State governments and certain agencies (cough* cough* HOMELAND SECURITY *cough *cough) are running out of funding as we speak so where is this money coming from?

I also wonder if this mission has anything to do with how scientists are noticing a quickly-weakening magnetic field around earth. I'd be curious to find out if that had any relation to this new mission.



posted on Mar, 13 2015 @ 07:39 AM
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I was going to mention the money thing but i didnt want to turn this in to a economic thread someone had a billion sitting under thier mattress lmao, yes i feel that a weakinig magnetosphere def calls for research trip. a reply to: FamCore



posted on Mar, 13 2015 @ 09:39 AM
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originally posted by: FamCore
a reply to: ATF1886

Very cool operation - I hope it is a success.

But I thought NASA had run out of funding, so how do these billion dollar projects pop up out of the blue? State governments and certain agencies (cough* cough* HOMELAND SECURITY *cough *cough) are running out of funding as we speak so where is this money coming from?

I also wonder if this mission has anything to do with how scientists are noticing a quickly-weakening magnetic field around earth. I'd be curious to find out if that had any relation to this new mission.


It's not that NASA is "running out of money", but rather their budget is relatively low compared to some other agencies/departments. They need to spread their money around judiciously to fund the projects they feel are important, and that sometimes means cancelling other projects. They can also fund a project by amortizing the cost over several years.

For example, this mission does not take $1 Billion out of the 2015 budget, but rather it takes a few hundred million out of the budgets for a multiple of years -- a few hundred million last year, a few hundred million this year, etc.

If you want to see how NASA spends their money, here is a link to detailed budget proposals for NASA for next year (although this is only a proposal, and not the budget approved by congress). There are links to past year's approved budgets at the bottom of the page.:

NASA -- Strategy, Budget, and Performance


edit on 3/13/2015 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 13 2015 @ 09:52 AM
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What Soylent said is true.

They also have a lot of project proposed, then have to decide which ones they can go forward with based upon their current budget and what they think they may have down the road, while keeping in mind that other projects that were already started (Curiosity Rover, Cassini, etc, etc) have to still be funded to keep them operational.

Then, going forward, if certain projects that were on the board and picked as going forward, they can't continue due to lack of funding, those projects get scrapped.

It's a form of triage that they have to do. If they had the same budget as the US Military, you'd be amazed at all the things they get to do. Alas: NASA's budget is a fraction of a drop in a huge bucket.



posted on Mar, 14 2015 @ 07:10 AM
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a reply to: FamCore

As mentioned above the entire mission cost doesn't suddenly come out of this year's NASA budget, nor did it suddenly start costing money this year.

These things take many years to plan, design and build - this particular project was being discussed as long ago as 2002, and there's this quote:

spaceref.com...



"After a decade of planning and engineering, the science team is ready to go to work,"


to indicate how long these things take.
edit on 14-3-2015 by onebigmonkey because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 14 2015 @ 07:28 AM
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Were the spacecraft all launched near each other, or separated by space and time of launch? And if one of them had blown up or otherwise gone off course, would that have scuttled the entire project (in other words, do all of them have to work as a unit for this project's success?). Thanks.



posted on Mar, 14 2015 @ 11:16 PM
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a reply to: ATF1886

haha, the veil is getting weaker. They need newer technologies projecting their matrix onto our reality. Maybe the sheep are straying to close to the imaginary pen fenceline



posted on Mar, 15 2015 @ 02:26 AM
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originally posted by: Aleister
Were the spacecraft all launched near each other, or separated by space and time of launch?



There's this thing, Google - it's amazing


www.nasa.gov...

All 4 probes were launched in a stack and separated in orbit. There is a video of the actual separation but I've only seen it on facebook so far so can't link to it.



And if one of them had blown up or otherwise gone off course, would that have scuttled the entire project (in other words, do all of them have to work as a unit for this project's success?). Thanks.


Notwithstanding how the actual deployment works, it's just one of the risks you take in this field. I can't say for certain but I'd guess that there is contingency for one of the probes failing in orbit by moving the orbital points of the others. Any more than that and you'd just have a partial data map rather than a complete one.



posted on Mar, 15 2015 @ 11:16 AM
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Here is an image of the MMS spacecraft flying in formation at an altitude in excess of about 40,000 km last night.


The satellites are the 4 dots on the left hand side. The streaks are stars except for the one streak bisecting several stars on the right side; that's an unrelated satellite, probably geostationary. MMS heads out to an altitude that is almost twice the geostationary distance.
edit on 15-3-2015 by ngchunter because: (no reason given)



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