- After 30 years in orbit, mission operations for the joint NASA-JAXA Geotail spacecraft have ended following the failure of the spacecraft’s remaining data recorder.
- Since its launch on July 24, 1992, Geotail has orbited Earth, collecting a vast dataset on the structure and dynamics of the magnetosphere, Earth’s protective magnetic bubble.
- Geotail was originally scheduled for four years, but due to its high quality data returns the mission has been extended several times, contributing to over a thousand scientific publications.
- While one of Geotail two data recorders failed in 2012, the other continued to operate until it experienced an anomaly on June 28, 2022. After attempts to remotely recover the recorder failed, mission operations were terminated on November 28, 2022.
Geotail mission :
The Geotail mission was a joint project of Japan’s Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS), and later the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and NASA from 2003. The mission was part of the International Solar Terrestrial Physics (ISTP) project, which also included the Wind, Polar, SOHO and Cluster missions.
Geotail’s goal was to study the structure and dynamics of the Long Tail region of Earth’s magnetosphere, which is created by the solar wind on Earth’s night side.