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NASA Launches Mission to Investigate Disruptive Explosions in Magnetosphere

posted: 03/13/15
by: Discovery.com Staff
Magnetospheric Multiscale spacecraft
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NASA launches four Magnetospheric Multiscale spacecraft from Cape Canaveral on Thursday.
NASA

NASA successfully launched four Magnetospheric Multiscale spacecraft into orbit late Thursday evening. Launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, the spacecraft will be the first dedicated solely to investigating magnetic reconnection.

According to NASA, magnetic reconnection occurs when "magnetic fields connect, disconnect, and reconfigure explosively, releasing bursts of energy". Such events can cause major disruptions to telecommunication technologies and electrical infrastructure.

When the mission officially begins in September, the four spacecraft will fly directly through reconnection events in Earth's magnetosphere and observe the phenomenon in great detail.

"The depth and detail of our knowledge is going to grow by leaps and bounds, in ways that no one can yet predict," remarked Jeff Newmark, interim director for NASA's Heliophysics Division.

Click here for the full story from NASA

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