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Headline: To Catch a Wave, Rocket Launches From Top of World | by NASA Goddard Photo and Video
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Headline: To Catch a Wave, Rocket Launches From Top of World

The Cusp Alfvén and Plasma Electrodynamics Rocket-2, or CAPER-2, mission launched aboard a NASA Black Brant XII sounding rocket from the Andøya Space Center in Norway at 4:27 a.m. EST on Jan. 4, 2019. The mission is the third of nine missions scheduled through 2020 as part of the Grand Challenge Initiative – Cusp, an international campaign to explore the northern polar cusp.


The CAPER-2 rocket reached 480 miles above Earth, flying through the aurora to study the waves that accelerate electrons into our atmosphere, before splashing down in the Arctic Sea.


Particle acceleration is a process as fundamental as it is complex. NASA studies this phenomenon in an effort to better understand not only the space environment surrounding Earth — and thus protect our technology in space from radiation — but also to help understand the very nature of stars and atmospheres throughout the solar system and beyond.


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Photo credit: NASA/Chris Perry


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NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission.


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Taken on January 4, 2019