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Polar Satellite Dies After A Dozen Years In Operation

By | May 5, 2008

      The Polar satellite that studied radiation and particles from the sun above the Earth died.

      In operation for a dozen years, the satellite was part of the NASA Global Geospace Science program.

      Lockheed Martin Corp. [LMT] built the bird.

      In an orbit looping over the north and south poles, the Polar spacecraft and its instruments enabled scientists to study movement of energetic charged particles above the polar regions.

      The original requirement for the Polar mission was that it would operate for a minimum of two years.

      The other spacecraft in NASA’s GGS program, called Wind, was also built by Lockheed. It was launched on November 1, 1994 and continues to operate in orbit around the L-1 libration point about one one-hundredth of the way from the Earth to the Sun, where the gravitational pull of the Earth and Sun and centrifugal force balance in such a way as to give an orbit of exactly one Earth year. The objectives of the Wind mission are to provide complete plasma, energetic particle, and magnetic field input for magnetospheric and ionospheric studies; determine the magnetospheric output to interplanetary space in the up-stream region: and investigate basic plasma processes occurring in the near-Earth solar wind.

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