FAST (Fast Auroral Snapshot Explorer)
A NASA satellite designed to observe and measure rapidly-varying electric
and magnetic fields and the flow of electrons and ions above aurorae;
it was the second SMEX (Small Explorer) mission.
FAST's data is complemented by those from other spacecraft, which observe
fields and particles and photograph the aurora from higher altitudes. At
the same time, auroral observatories and geomagnetic stations on the ground
supply measurements on how the energetic processes FAST observes affect
Earth. Although made ready for a mid-1994 launch date, FAST was put in storage
for a couple of years until a series of problems with the Pegasus launch
vehicle could be corrected.
||Aug. 21, 1996
||Vandenberg Air Force Base
||353 × 4,163 km × 83.0°
||1.8 × 1.2 m
AND SPACE PROBES