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 probe was damaged in ground vibration testing and had to be repaired. Then there were problems with HESSI's launch vehicle
But HESSI was launched successfully at 4 p.m. EST on February 5, aboard a Pegasus XL rocket. Early signs indicate that the mission is proceeding as planned. Scientists are really looking forward to the insight HESSI will bring to the study of space weather
HESSI stands for High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager. HESSI stands to provide data that would help scientists make great strides in understanding solar flares. HESSI will study where flares occur on the Sun, how flares accelerate particles and what happens to a flare over the course of the flare's lifetime. HESSI will be the first mission to view these solar events in the x-ray and gamma ray segments of the electromagnetic spectrum. HESSI will work in coordination with the SOHO, TRACE, GOES, and ACE satellites to provide scientists with observations about the Sun, solar activity and the Sun's effect on Earth.
HESSI is NASA's newest solar science mission. The total cost of the HESSI mission is $85 million. This includes the spacecraft, launch vehicles, mission operations and data analysis.
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