The IMAGE spacecraft was launched from Vandenberg AFB on March 25, 2000,
at 20:34:43 UTC.
IMAGE is the first satellite mission dedicated to
imaging the Earth's magnetosphere, the region of space
controlled by the Earth's magnetic field and containing
extremely tenuous plasmas of both solar and terrestrial
origin. Invisible to standard astronomical observing
techniques, these populations of ions and electrons have
traditionally been studied by means of localized
measurements with charged particle detectors,
magnetometers, and electric field instruments. Instead of
such in-situ measurements, IMAGE employs a variety of
imaging techniques to "see the invisible" and to produce the
first comprehensive global images of the plasma populations in the
inner magnetosphere. With these images, space scientists
are able to observe, in a way never before possible, the
large-scale dynamics of the magnetosphere and the
interactions among its constituent plasma populations.
The IMAGE project has an open data policy. There are no proprietary
data or periods. IMAGE data are available via the Internet from
Data Delivery System.
Southwest Research Institute manages the IMAGE project
and leads the IMAGE science investigation. The IMAGE
Principal Investigator is James L. Burch