ASIM Mission

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The Launch

The  Japanese cargo vessel, HTV, is approaching the space station. Canadaarm2 is ready to grab it and bring it to dock. The ASIM platform will be grabbed by the same arm and lifted from the HTV to the external pallet on Columbus.
The Japanese cargo vessel, HTV, is approaching the space station. Canadaarm2 is ready to grab it and bring it to dock. The ASIM platform will be grabbed by the same arm and lifted from the HTV to the external pallet on Columbus.
ASIM is expected to be launched to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2016, from where it will observe the atmosphere for 2 years.

ASIM will be carried by the HTV, which is a cargo vessel able to carry up to 6 ton of supplies for the space station. The HTV is launched by a rocket, but has its own propulsion system allowing it to maneuver to the space station. HTV means Heavy Transfer Vehicle.

Operations

When ASIM is mounted on the external pallets of Columbus, the instruments will be turned on by commands sent from the control center outside Odense, Denmark. The first operational period is used to check if the instruments have survived the violent vibrations experienced during launch. This phase is called the "commissioning phase".

If the instruments work properly, the real scientific observational phase can begin. The X- and Gamma-ray sensor is on continuously, except during passage of the South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA), where the earth's magnetic field is weak, allowing considerable fluxes of energetic particles to reach the space station. The optical instruments are on during the nighttime and sunrise/sunset seen from the space station. The instruments capture automatically flashes of activity. Certain observations, as those taken over the Mediterranean region, are executed as time tagged commands sent in advance to ASIM.

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