Gregory “Wired” Colyer flies his T-33 Acemaker during the Twilight Show at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., May 17,.
How the 4 MMS Spacecraft will Launch and Deploy
In March of 2015, an unprecedented NASA mission will launch to study a process so mysterious that no one has ever directly measured it in action. To create the first-ever 3-dimensional maps of this process, a process called magnetic reconnection, which occurs all over the universe, the Magnetospheric Multiscale, or MMS, mission uses four separate spacecraft equipped with ultra high speed instruments. Watch the video to get a sneak preview of how MMS will make this journey: The four spacecraft are housed in a single rocket on their trip into space. One by one, each ejects out, before moving into a giant pyramid-shaped configuration. Next each spacecraft deploys its six booms. Once in orbit, MMS will fly through regions near Earth where this little-understood process of magnetic reconnection occurs. Magnetic reconnection happens in thin layers just miles thick, but can tap into enough power at times to create gigantic explosions many times the size of Earth. For more information about MMS, visit: www.nasa.gov/mms