It has launched successfully. The MMS mission – that is the Magnetospheric Multiscale mission (just rolls off the tongue!) was launched last Thursday from Cape Canaveral placing the four-satellite constellation into a high elliptical orbit. This mission is a two year study and if we’re really lucky, it will tell us how wormholes work, at the most and at the least we’ll be better equipped to build that shield (based on the magnetosphere) we’ve been working on.
Let me explain.
There are four identical spacecraft which will be used to conduct plasma physics research in the environment of the Earth’s magnetosphere. The mission is intended to help scientists better understand a phenomenon called magnetic reconnection which has been observed in plasmas. Translation? There are regions in the Earth's magnetic field that directly connect the Earth’s magnetic field to that of the sun, across 93 million miles of space. These mysterious regions, known as "magnetic portals" are thought to be opening and closing dozens of times every day. If you are a science fiction fan than perhaps you are familiar with the concept of an inter-dimensional "portal," or an opening in the fabric of space and time that allows space voyagers to travel faster than the speed of light, through "hyperspace," as a quick shortcut to anywhere, or any-when, in the universe.
The actual point of this mission is to understand a naturally occurring phenomenon that results in the release of large amounts of energy as a result of intersecting magnetic field lines. These four spacecraft will fly through the heart of reconnection events to allow three-dimensional mapping of how the particles and fields at hand interact. They will fly in a tetrahedral pattern and surround the “portal”.
Problem. These portals both appear and disappear coming in different durations and sizes and to make it more difficult - are also often located several thousand miles above the earth in the upper atmosphere. Through these portals a large number of particles flow back and forth through these openings. (Like on Star Gate, but harmful rays from the Sun versus people). According to the NASA press release about this discovery, "Tons of energetic particles can flow through the openings, heating Earth's upper atmosphere, sparking geomagnetic storms, and igniting bright polar auroras."
Okay – so NASA is planning on through these four spacecraft studying these portals that appear and disappear super quickly. But there’s another problem - they’re not only unstable, they're also invisible. Its okay, a method to locate the portals has been developed. By mapping out how the magnetic fields of the earth and the sun intersect with one another, what is called the “X” spot is where we will find them.
So the four NASA spacecrafts will surround and observe the magnetic portals, and, perhaps, learn how they work. Octagonal in shape, the satellites measure 1.666 meters (5.476 feet) across by 1.230 meters (4.033 feet) high. Stacked together at launch, the combined spacecraft measure 4.920 meters (16.14 feet) in height. This research could be the beginning that leads us to quantum portals that will one day be used for genuine superluminal space and time travel.
During construction parts of the internal structures of the spacecraft were anodized different colors to help engineers distinguish them. Spacecraft number one was colored orange, number two was colored blue, number three green, and number four pink.
Following this the mission has a second phase. Once they finish a year of examining the portals the spacecraft intends to raise their apogees to 153,000 kilometers (95,000 miles or 82,600 nautical miles) and to fly through the Earth’s Magnetospheric tail and study events on the night side of the planet.
So the gist of this whole event is NASA is doing a really important study and if we happen to figure out a way to hold these small and invisible portals open and make them stay open (like say some negative energy) then we could travel to places like Gliese 667c system – 22 light years from Earth with its own Earth, several actually and one is approximately six times bigger than Earth!