AMPTE (Active Magnetosphere Particle Tracer Explorer)
The German component (IRM, or Ion Release Module) released a cloud of barium and lithium ions to produce the "comet", the American component (CCE, or Charge Composition Explorer) studied its resultant behavior, and the British component (UKS, or United Kingdom Satellite) measured the effects of the cloud on natural plasma in space.
This was first the time a plasma cloud was released by a spacecraft. In the future, it has been suggested, manned spacecraft might use contained plasma bubbles as a form of deflector shield.
Related category• SATELLITES AND SPACE PROBES
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