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NASA Powers on New Instrument Staring at the Sun

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NASA Powers on New Instrument Staring at the Sun

Post by Dragon on Fri Mar 16, 2018 3:40 pm

NASA has powered on its latest space payload to continue long-term measurements of the Sun's incoming energy. Total and Spectral solar Irradiance Sensor (TSIS-1), installed on the International Space Station, became fully operational with all instruments collecting science data as of this March.

"TSIS-1 extends a long data record that helps us understand the Sun’s influence on Earth’s radiation budget, ozone layer, atmospheric circulation, and ecosystems, and the effects that solar variability has on the Earth system and climate change," said Dong Wu, TSIS-1 project scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

The instrument was launched from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on Dec. 15, 2017. After a two-week pause, TSIS-1 was extracted from the trunk of the SpaceX Dragon capsule and integrated onto its permanent home on the space station.

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Re: NASA Powers on New Instrument Staring at the Sun

Post by Dragon on Fri Mar 16, 2018 3:43 pm


Credits: NASA Goddard

Shown here: TSIS-1 getting extracted from the trunk of the SpaceX Dragon capsule.

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Re: NASA Powers on New Instrument Staring at the Sun

Post by Dragon on Fri Mar 16, 2018 3:46 pm


Credits: University of Colorado Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP)

Shown here: the pointing platform directs the solar instruments at the Sun. Perched on the space station, the instrument operates like a sunflower and follows the Sun from sunrise to its sunset, which occurs every 90 minutes. At sunset, TSIS-1 rewinds, recalibrates and waits for the next sunrise

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Re: NASA Powers on New Instrument Staring at the Sun

Post by Dragon on Fri Mar 16, 2018 3:49 pm



In terms of climate change research, scientists need to understand the balance between energy coming in from the Sun and energy radiating out from Earth, as modulated by Earth's surface and atmosphere. That's why NASA is launching TSIS, the Total and Spectral Solar Irradiance Sensor.

 
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