NASA Satellite Breaks a Guinness World Record
NASA made another world record with its Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission (MMS). MMS is now the Guinness World Record holder for the highest altitude fix specifically designed for GPS signals.
The instrument is placed at 70,006.4 kilometers above Earth following highly elliptical orbit. The mission consists if four MMS spacecraft that uses the GPS system to conduct accurate tracking systems. This requires a precise positioning of the instruments and orbit calculations for guiding flight positions, according to a report.
MMS had already made news earlier this year by flying extremely close to each satellite with only about seven kilometers distance also called as the 'closest flying separation' in a multi-spacecraft positioning or formation. But the science MMS provide is also worth the worldwide recognition despite its very young operations age of one year. MMS provides scientists with valuable information about the Earth's magnetosphere.
The mission is complex in nature with the four MMS satellites flying in a pyramid formation. This way, the mission can map the event called magnetic reconnection where the Sun and Earth's magnetic field collide. This is the reason why an accurate GPS tracking system is required, for the MMS to maintain in intricate positioning while gathering information.
The MMS is responsible for observing the magnetic reconnection and its influence on other natural occurrences such as auroras, solar flares and even far-fetched formations such as black holes.
On its second year, MMS will enter its second phase of the mission where the four satellites will be sent to explore a larger orbit and observe a bigger and the other areas of the Earth's magnetosphere. If successful, the MMS will again break the high altitude GPS record that it is currently holding today.
Technological advancements like this will enable scientists and NASA to explore the universe deeper. The MMS is expected to yield vital scientific data that will be beneficial not only to the understanding of the Earth's magnetosphere but also in the advancement of the GPS systems and its applications on the planet.