This Six-foot Diameter Aluminum Ring was plated with
Laser Gold for low emissivity. This ring separates four satellites that make up the Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission. (MMS)
Each of the four will carry 20 identical instruments that Epner was proud to have been the plating supplier for 6 of these instruments. The rings were machined for NASA by Bechdon Machine, Upper Marlboro, Md.
All four MMS spacecraft are stacked and ready for transport to the vibration chamber for environmental tests. Although they will be disassembled again later this month, this image is a sneak preview of what will be the final flight configuration of the MMS fleet.
The Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission is a Solar Terrestrial Probes mission comprising four identically instrumented spacecraft that will use Earth’s magnetosphere as a laboratory to study the microphysics of three fundamental plasma processes: magnetic reconnection, energetic particle acceleration, and turbulence. These processes occur in all astrophysical plasma systems but can be studied in situ only in our solar system and most efficiently only in Earth’s magnetosphere, where they control the dynamics of the geospace environment and play an important role in the processes known as “space weather.”