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Artist conception of the CAPER trajectory
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Image courtesy of NASA/Marshall

Scientists Successfully Launch CAPER
News story originally written on January 23, 1999

After waiting weeks for the right solar and atmospheric conditions, scientists were finally able to launch the Cleft Acceleration Plasma Experimental Rocket (CAPER) from Andoya Rocket Range in Norway.

CAPER will help determine what causes low energy particles to leave the Earth's atmosphere. The current theory is that electrical instabilities in the ionosphere give ions the energy that is needed to escape.

"We're studying a region that is believed to provide the majority of the mass that makes up the magnetosphere," said Victoria Coffey, a scientist at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center.

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