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NASA Launches THEMIS Satellites

Press Release From:
Posted: Saturday, February 17, 2007

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Taking multitasking to new heights, NASA launched the five THEMIS satellites aboard a single Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 6:01 p.m. EST. Racing into space on the flaming power of three rocket stages and nine solid rocket motors, the THEMIS satellites will soon disperse around Earth to monitor auroras like the Northern Lights.

NASA is undertaking the mission to investigate what causes auroras in the Earth's atmosphere to change in appearance and dissipate. Discovering why the light of auroras can fluctuate and fade will provide scientists with important details on how the planet's protective magnetosphere works and on the sun-Earth connection.

The Mission

THEMIS is a mission to investigate what causes auroras in the Earth's atmosphere to dramatically change from slowly shimmering waves of light to wildly shifting streaks of color. Discovering what causes auroras to change will provide scientists with important details on how the planet's magnetosphere works and the important Sun-Earth connection.

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