Researchers from the Space Science Center (SSC) at the University of New Hampshire- an NEC member- watched the results of ten years of hard work fly into space on March 12, 2015. For a decade, the group has been working on instruments which are critical to a NASA satellite mission.
The Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission consists of four satellites. They will explore electromagnetic fields and ‘space weather’ patterns which can impact communication satellites, GPS navigation and Earth-based power grids. The mission will take place in the magnetosphere, the layer which protects our planet from solar and cosmic radiation. The SSC was awarded its first grant for the project ten years ago. Since then, it took on significantly more tasks and received nearly $70 million more in funding. Researchers at the SSC created 28 of the flight components for the satellites and were responsible for the integrated instrument-level testing of all of them prior to delivery.
“UNH has played a crucial role in the development of the instrumentation for this mission. We are excited and poised for the science phase of the mission in which we will combine our strengths in understanding the physics of electromagnetic fields, space plasmas and energetic charged particles to discover the mysteries of magnetic reconnection,” said astrophysicist Harlan Spence, director of EOS and a co-investigator on the MMS mission’s Energetic Particles Detector Suite.
The New England Council applauds the University of New Hampshire for their outstanding contributions to these important research areas.