Technicians and Engineers use the crane to install Instrument Deck #4 on top of the flight Thrust Tube #4. This MMS spacecraft is now officially considered “Observatory #4” and will remain in the clean room for further component integration and functional tests.
The Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission is a Solar Terrestrial Probes mission comprising four identically instrumented spacecraft that will use Earth’s magnetosphere as a laboratory to study the microphysics of three fundamental plasma processes: magnetic reconnection, energetic particle acceleration, and turbulence. These processes occur in all astrophysical plasma systems but can be studied in situ only in our solar system and most efficiently only in Earth’s magnetosphere, where they control the dynamics of the geospace environment and play an important role in the processes known as “space weather.”
The Magnetospheric Multiscale mission will use four identical spacecraft, variably spaced in Earth orbit, to make three-dimensional measurements of magnetospheric boundary regions and examine the process of magnetic reconnection. Credit: Southwest Research Institute
Agency Baseline Commitment: March 2015
Launch Readiness Date (LRD): October 2014
Phase C/D: Design & Development
Mission Highlights – As of May 2, 2013:
This week a flurry of activities were undertaken on Observatory #1 including the installation of the Axial Double Probe Boom (ADP) Receiving Element, movement of the observatory from the Aronson table to the dolly, magnetometer boom 2nd and 3rd stage deployments, magnetometer instrument functional testing, installation of Fast Plasma Investigation (FPI) instruments and installation of the X-box. On Observatory #2 the Navigator, Acceleration Measuring System (AMS) and Star Sensor flight software updates were installed, the battery loop harness was installed and magnetometer boom installation commenced. On Observatory #4 optical bench alignment measurements were taken and Comprehensive Performance Test (CPT) dry runs continued. On Observatory #3 the electrical integration of the Engine Valve Driver (EVD) to propulsion system was completed and the AMS was integrated and functionally tested.