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For other uses, see Image (disambiguation).
Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration
Diagram of IMAGE spacecraft
Diagram of IMAGE spacecraft
Names Explorer 78
Operator NASA
COSPAR ID 2000-017A
SATCAT no. 26113 [1]
Spacecraft properties
Manufacturer Johns Hopkins University
Launch mass 536 kg (1,182 lb)[1]
Power 250.0 watts
Start of mission
Launch date March 25, 2000 (2000-03-25) [1]
Rocket Delta II 7326[1]
Launch site Vandenberg SLC-2W [1]
Orbital parameters
Semi-major axis 29,815.4 kilometres (18,526.4 mi)
Eccentricity 0.7530800104141235
Perigee 640.4 km (397.9 mi)
Apogee 46,248.4 km (28,737.4 mi)
Inclination 90.01000213623047°
Period 853.90 minutes
Diameter 2.2 m

IMAGE (from Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration), or Explorer 78, was a NASA MIDEX mission that studied the global response of the Earth's magnetosphere to changes in the solar wind. It was launched March 25, 2000 by a Delta II rocket from Vandenberg AFB and ceased operations in December 2005.

The IMAGE craft was placed in a 1,000×46,000 km orbit around the Earth, with an inclination of 90° (passing over the poles) and a 14.2 hour period. IMAGE was the first spacecraft dedicated to observing the magnetosphere of the Earth, and it produced comprehensive global images of plasma in the inner magnetosphere. It did this using five instruments:

The CIDP as well as the Command & Data Handling Subsystem (main on-board computer) of the craft were built around the mission-proven RAD6000 avionics processors.


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  1. ^ a b c d e "NSSDC Master Catalog Display: Spacecraft". 2007-05-18. Retrieved 2007-09-07.