15 years ago on cool Florida afternoon, a Delta II rocket roared to life, lifting five satellites over the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on a mission to study the Earths Magnetosphere. To this day the five probes continue to work and send back data, including two of the probes that were retested from their orbit around the Earth to orbiting the moon and collecting data
The Delta II Rocket with the five THEMIS probes ready for launch3, 2, 1 , 0…. The Delta II Roars to Life and Lifts Off the Launch Pad. NASA’s Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms (THEMIS) aims to resolve one of the oldest mysteries in space physics, namely to determine what physical process in near-Earth space initiates the violent eruptions of the aurora that occur during substorms in the Earth’s magnetosphere.
THEMIS was planned as a 2-year mission consisting of 5 identical probes that will study the violent colorful eruptions of Auroras.
Understanding and predicting space weather is important to describe the environment in which spacecraft and astronauts operate and ensure their safety. Just as hail and tornadoes accompany the most severe thunderstorms, substorms accompany the most intense space storms – those that disrupt communications, cause power line transmission failures, and produce the most penetrating radiation. THEMIS will study substorms to gain insight into the most severe space storms.
The THEMIS/ARTEMIS Story Continues….