On March 12, 2015, just before 11pm, NASA’s $1.1 billion Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission will blast into outer space from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Many of the instruments that populate each of MMS’s four identical satellites were developed and constructed at UNH, which is a leader in space plasma physics.

MMS Launch Countdown


NASA Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) Mission

Exploring the Mystery of Magnetic Reconnection

Blast Off!

On March 12, UNH scientists, engineers, and students will watch anxiously as ten years of exacting scientific effort is blasted into outer space from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. The Atlas V launch vehicle will carry a quartet of identical satellites that comprise NASA’s $1.1-billion Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission.


Magnetospheric Mystery

With MMS poised to launch from Cape Canaveral March 12, UNH lead scientist Roy Torbert can finally catch his breath and look back on the decade-long effort with pride. He can also look forward to the pioneering science the mission is designed to do — and could not have without the skill and expertise of Space Science Center staff.


Mission Overview

In 2015, NASA plans to launch the Magnetospheric Multiscale, or MMS, mission. MMS consists of four identical spacecraft that will orbit around Earth through the dynamic magnetic system surrounding our planet to study a little-understood phenomenon called magnetic reconnection.


Launching Careers

Long before it blasts into space March 12, MMS will have launched the careers of would-be rocket scientists who contributed to the mission as UNH undergraduates.


Fields Suite of Instruments Developed at UNH

At the heart of magnetic reconnection lies the fact that magnetic fields change their configuration, so the Fields suite has the important job of observing the magnetic fields themselves. It also observes the key signatures of electric fields, which also change as part of the reconnection process. MMS will measure electric fields simultaneously in three dimensions with better precision than any previous mission.


Watch Live Webcast

Mar 10 2015 12:50 to Mar 10 2015 14:30
Mar 11 2015 12:50 to Mar 11 2015 14:30
Mar 12 2015 14:50 to Mar 12 2015 16:00
Mar 12 2015 19:50 to Mar 12 2015 23:59

What/When to Watch

Tuesday, March 10, 1 p.m.: Prelaunch news conference
Wednesday, March 11, 1 p.m.: Mission science briefing
Thursday, March 12, 3 p.m.: NASA Social
Thursday, March 12, 8 p.m.: Launch coverage begins

Follow the Launch


identical satellites

instrument components built at UNH

instrument components contributed by the UNH-coordinated FIELDS team, out of a total of 120 for the mission

10 Years
in the works

Top 3
universities in the nation for space plasma physics (UNH)

1 of 12
international partners that constructed the instruments
for the satellites (UNH)

Learn more about space science at UNH.

Space Science Center