Big team of science personell in Ny-Ålesund

In approximately a month from mid-April to mid-May 40 science-personnel from NASA with support from 11 rocket-technicians from Andøya Space Centre were hosted by Ny-Ålesund Research Station to prepare and launch the science rocket Endurance from Ny-Ålesund. The rocket was launched from Andøya Space’s launch site in Ny-Ålesund the 11th of May at 03:30 am local time.

Why is there life on Earth, but not on Mars?

The science objective for the campaign was to understand more about why there is life on earth, but not on other similar planets like Mars and Venus. To investigate this question NASA has measured Earth’s electrical field for the first time with support from Andøya Space Centre.

– With Endurance NASA will measure one of the basic properties of Earth, directly connected to why there is life and humans here. The scientific reward of this work can therefore be great, says Gary Collins from NASA.

Photo: NASA

Can only be done from Andøya and Svalbard

– Our launch sites at Andøya and Ny-Ålesund are some of the very few places in the world where it is possible to investigate the ionosphere and its electrical field using research rockets, says Kolbjørn Blix, director of sounding rockets and Andøya Space.

In addition to the launch sites, scientists have access to a well-developed science infrastructure and several ground based instrument sites, in order to monitor the parameters needed to decide when the research rockets should launch.

Ny-Ålesund is one of the world’s northernmost functional public settlements at 78°55′N 11°56′E inhabited by a permanent population of approximately 35-40 scientists and support staff. Photo: Helge Tore Markussen/Norwegian Polar Institute.

To read more about the science objectives and the electrical field on Earth:

Check out the article on the Andøya Space center website.

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