NASA Launches THEMIS Probes

The United Launch Alliance Delta 2 rocket was successfully launched by NASA on 17 February 2007. The rocket hauled "five THEMIS probes into orbit."

   "Built by UC Berkeley and Swales Aerospace, the five THEMIS 
    probes are designed to take up stations in ever-higher orbits 
    ranging between one-sixth and half the distance between the 
    Earth and Moon.  Every four days, the probes are expected to 
    align with one another and ground stations on Earth to provide 
    a curtain of sensors to scan for substorm activity for at least 
    two years."

THEMIS is "Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms." It was the "most spacecraft ever launched at one time for NASA." The system will be used to monitor and predict space weather: "Really it's an analogous system to what meteorologists use on the ground."

Exercises
  1. The average distance between earth and moon is approximately 238,854 miles. At a minimum, the THEMIS probles will be ________ miles from earth.

  2. THEMIS has a lifetime of two years and will move every four days. Assuming 365.24 days per year, THEMIS will move about ________ times.

External Hyperlink(s)

Creator: Gerald D. Thurman [gthurman@gmail.com]
Created: 19 February 2007

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.