AMPTE completes first phase


  • Anonymous


Early on July 18, 1985, the Ion Release Module (IRM) spacecraft of the Active Magnetospheric Particle Tracer Explorers (AMPTE) mission released its last two cannisters of barium-thermite mixture into the rapidly flowing solar wind plasma in the dusk-side magnetosheath, about 110,000 km above the earth. The result was a glowing barium ion “comet,” high in the night sky, marking the last experiment in the first, or active plasma release, phase of the mission.