NASA launched the four Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission spacecraft on March 12, 2015 aboard the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. When traveling in the space, the spacecraft will be powered by the sun through 32 high-efficiency triple-junction ZTJ solar cells provided by SolAero Technologies Corp.
The MMS will study magnetic reconnection, a fundamental process that occurs throughout the universe when magnetic fields connect and disconnect explosively, releasing energy and accelerating particles up to nearly the speed of light. Unlike previous missions that have observed only evidence of magnetic reconnection events, MMS has sufficient resolution to observe and measure reconnection events as they occur. While MMS will fly through reconnection regions in less than a second, key sensors on each spacecraft are able to capture measurements 100 times faster than any previous mission. In addition, MMS consists of four identical observatories, which together will provide the first ever three-dimensional view of magnetic reconnection.
This mission of simultaneously building and launching four identical spacecraft for the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center is unprecedented. Building four spacecraft at the same time – something that had never before been done at Goddard - required a unique set of engineering, management and production skills. In addition, SolAero provided solar panels for each spacecraft designed and built at the highest efficiency and to the highest standards necessary for a successful mission.
(Graphic Source: SolAero)