GOLD Powers on for the First Time

Members of the GOLD science team gather with the instrument in a LASP clean room on December 1, 2016, just after the instrument went through its pre-ship review ahead of shipment to Airbus Defence and Space in Toulouse, France. (Courtesy LASP)

The GOLD team powered on the GOLD instrument for the first time after launch on Jan. 28 at 7:23 p.m. EST.

As planned, the systems engineers successfully established communication with the GOLD instrument and its detector doors opened when commanded. After their tests, the engineers powered off the instrument the same day, at 7:40 p.m. EST. The instrument will remain powered off until its host satellite, SES-14, reaches geostationary orbit and GOLD operations commence later this year.

GOLD will investigate the dynamic intermingling of space and Earth’s uppermost atmosphere and seek to understand what drives change in this critical region. Resulting data will improve forecasting models of the space weather events that can impact life on Earth, as well as satellites and astronauts in space.

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