Academy Project on Shuttle

When the space shuttle Atlantis lifted off this week from Florida, it was transporting the Air Force Academy’s Miniaturized Electrostatic Analyzer, a project known as MESA and developed by the academy’s physics department to measure plasma density, temperature, and spacecraft charging, to the International Space Station. This MESA sensor replaces one “that just came down … [but] the major difference this time we will be able to use telemetry to get data live from the instrument,” said Dr. Geoff Mcharg, director of the academy’s Space Physics and Atmospheric Research Center. The basic object is to collect weather data around the space station. (Academy release)