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The DISSIPATION experiment provided, for the first time, comprehensive and concurrent in situ measurements of the response of the thermosphere to Joule heating in the auroral transition region. Joule heating results from friction between the ion and neutral gases when the gases are not flowing at the same speed and direction. Energy dissipation within the transition region via particle precipitation and Joule heating can cause profound horizontal and vertical redistributions of thermospheric mass density, composition, temperature, and winds. Most of the knowledge of this dissipative process is based on remote and/or limited observations of neutral gas and plasma parameters. DISSIPATION is designed to provide a more direct observations.

The Principal Investigator is Dr. Benna/NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.


Drawing of a Terrier-Black Brant sounding rocket

The Oriole II is a two stage vehicle, with a Terrier first stage and Oriole second stage.

Additional sounding rocket vehicles

Google Earth Map showing Poker Flat, Alaska.

The DISSIPATION mission was launched from Poker Flat Research Range, Alaska, on November 8, 2023.