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Mission to Geospace News Banner
December 1997
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Spacecraft and significant computer and radar facilities are provided by: Max Planck Institute, NOAA, LANL, and the Air Force. Canadian Space Agency, British Antarctic Survey, U.S. National Science Foundation, and Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.

Where and How?
The spacecraft of ISTP are placed in orbits that allow physicists to observe the key regions of Earth's space, or "geospace." Those regions include the Sun's surface and atmosphere, the solar wind, Earth's magnetosphere, from the bow shock to the auroral regions to the magnetic tail. Orbiting as far as one million miles from Earth and as close as a few hundred, the spacecraft of ISTP make coordinated, simultaneous observations of the Sun and geospace over extended periods of time.
With such observations, scientists are increasing our knowledge of:

ISTP was conceived in the 1970s, planned in the 1980s, and launched in the 1990s. The first spacecraft, Geotail, was launched in 1992, and the most recent, Polar, went up in 1996. Each of the missions of ISTP is scheduled to continue through 1998, and scientists and engineers are now making plans to extend their mission through the next solar maximum in 2000-2002.

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Author: Mike Carlowicz
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