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  ARTEMIS pair of probes to study the space weather near the Moon

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Author Topic:   ARTEMIS pair of probes to study the space weather near the Moon
music_space
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Posts: 1050
From: Canada
Registered: Jul 2001

posted 11-02-2010 09:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for music_space   Click Here to Email music_space     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From NASA Science News:
A pair of NASA spacecraft that were supposed to be dead a year ago are instead flying to the Moon for a breakthrough mission in lunar orbit.

"Their real names are THEMIS P1 and P2, but I call them 'dead spacecraft walking,'" says Vassilis Angelopoulos of UCLA, principal investigator of the THEMIS mission. "Not so long ago, we thought they were goners. Now they are beginning a whole new adventure."

(...) "We're exploring the Earth-Moon Lagrange points for the first time," says Manfred Bester, Mission Operations Manager from the University of California at Berkeley, where the mission is operated. "No other spacecraft have orbited there."

Because they lie just outside Earth's magnetosphere, Lagrange points are excellent places to study the solar wind. Sensors onboard the ARTEMIS probes will have in situ access to solar wind streams and storm clouds as they approach our planet—a possible boon to space weather forecasters. Moreover, working from opposite Lagrange points, the two spacecraft will be able to measure solar wind turbulence on scales never sampled by previous missions.

The whole article is found here.

There's also the ARTEMIS Mission Page, including these fascinating two videos about their intricate navigation from one mission to the other.

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