Friday, February 12, 2010

Nasa Launches Solar Dynamics Observatory

NASA Successfully launched its new Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) with the help of its Atlas V rocket. The liftoff took place earlier today (11-2-2010) at 10:23 a.m. EST from Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Florida's Atlantic Coast.

This will help scientist  understand the sun better. The high tech Observatory will take pictures of the sun every 0.75 sec and will send back about 1.5 TB (terabytes) of data everyday. The basic goal of this mission is to understand the effects of Solar Dynamics on Earth and how it affects our technology infrastructure, like disabling satellites,GPS satellites, grid failures etc.
It will also provide a better understanding on how the magnetic field of the Sun is generated and structuredenergetic particles, solar wind, and variations in the solar irradiance. It will help us understand space climate better and how this stored magnetic energy is converted and released into the heliosphere and geospace.

Some SDO Specs/Specifications
  • Data downlink rate                -  130 Mbps
  • Spacecraft dimensions           -  2.2 x 2.2 x 4.5 m, 6.5 m across solar panels when extended
  • Launch mass                         -  3100 kgs
  • PayLoad                               -  270 kgs 
  • Solar Cell Power Production - 1450 Watts 

In their last live coverage blog, The Team confirmed that it has successfully deployed its solar panels and is generating power, Launch Director Omar Baez also said that the crucial post separation stages happened like clock works!
Another success for NASA and humanity!

Follow thsi link to get an amazing interactive 3D view of the SDO

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