This image shows an artist's rendition of the HESSI spacecraft with the Earth in the background. The lower left image shows a picture of the Sun taken by the Yohkoh satellite. The lower right image or inset shows an enlargement of a solar flare taken in the x-ray segment of light.
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of NASA
HESSI is Off!
News story originally written on February 6, 2002
HESSI had a hard time getting off the ground! First the spacecraft was damaged in ground vibration testing and had to be fixed. Then there were problems with HESSI's launch vehicle
But HESSI was launched successfully on February 5, aboard a Pegasus XL rocket. Early signs show that everything is going fine with the mission. Scientists are looking forward to the information HESSI will tell us about how the Sun affects the Earth
HESSI (the High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager) is NASA's newest mission built to study the Sun. Specifically, HESSI will study solar flares. Solar activity like flares can have a huge effect on Earth. Particles released during a solar flare can reach Earth causing strong geomagnetic storms, auroras and electrical power blackouts. So, it's important for us to understand solar flares. HESSI will help us do just that!
The total cost of the HESSI mission is $85 million.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
, full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science, ranging from seismology
, rocks and minerals
, and Earth system science
You might also be interested in:
The launch of solar satellite HESSI has been postponed! When it turned out that the Pegasus rocket designed to boost the X-34A hypersonic vehicle went out of control on June 2nd and had to be blown up,...more
It was another exciting and frustrating year for the space science program. It seemed that every step forward led to one backwards. Either way, NASA led the way to a great century of discovery. Unfortunately,...more
The Space Shuttle Discovery lifted off from Kennedy Space Center on October 29th at 2:19 p.m. EST. The weather was great as Discovery took 8 1/2 minutes to reach orbit. This was the United States' 123rd...more
A moon was discovered orbiting the asteroid, Eugenia. This is only the second time in history that a satellite has been seen circling an asteroid. A special mirror allowed scientists to find the moon...more
Will Russia ever put the service module for the International Space Station in space? NASA officials want an answer from the Russian government. The necessary service module is currently waiting to be...more
A coronal mass ejection (CME) happened on the Sun early last month. The material that was thrown out from this explosion passed the ACE spacecraft. The SWICS instrument on ACE has produced a new and very...more
J.S. Maini of the Canadian Forest Service called forests the "heart and lungs of the world." This is because forests filter air and water pollution, absorb carbon dioxide, release oxygen, and maintain...more