After 15 years in space, NASA’s AIM mission is coming to an end. Spotted in a short blog post Gizmodo, the agency said on Thursday it was ending operational support for the spacecraft due to battery power failure. NASA first noticed problems with AIM’s battery in 2019, but the probe was still sending a “significant amount of data” to Earth. After the battery died recently, NASA says the AIM stopped responding. The AIM team will monitor the spacecraft for another two weeks if it reboots, but judging by the tone of NASA’s post, the agency is holding its breath.
In 2007, NASA launched the Ice Aeronomy in the Mesosphere (AIM) mission to study silver or nighttime clouds, sometimes called petrified clouds, because they can stay in Earth’s upper atmosphere for hundreds of years. Data collected by AIM has proven invaluable to scientists from a vantage point 370 miles above the planet’s surface, as it was featured in 379 peer-reviewed papers, including a recent 2018 study that found that methane emissions from human-caused climate change cause bright clouds at night. to create more often.
Not bad for a mission that NASA originally planned to take only two years. AIM’s demise follows the demise of another long-serving NASA spacecraft. Earlier this year, the agency decommissioned the Earth Radiation Budget Satellite after collecting measurements of ozone and atmospheric levels for nearly four decades.
Source: Port Altele
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