Template:Infobox spaceflight

The Fast Auroral Snapshot Explorer (FAST) is a NASA plasma physics satellite, and is the second spacecraft in the Small Explorer program. It was launched on August 21, 1996, from Vandenberg Air Force Base aboard a Pegasus XL rocket. The spacecraft was designed and built by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Flight operations were handled by Goddard for the first three years, and thereafter were transferred to the University of California, Berkeley's Space Sciences Laboratory.[1]

FAST was designed to observe and measure the plasma physics of the auroral phenomena which occur around both of Earth's poles.[2] While its Electric Field Experiment failed around 2002, all other instruments continued to operate normally until science operations were ended on May 1, 2009.[3] Various engineering tests were conducted afterward.[3]


  • Electrostatic Analyzers (ESA): measured electron and ion distribution[2]
  • Time-of-flight Energy Angle Mass Spectrograph (TEAMS): measured three-dimensional distribution of major ion species[2]
  • Tri-Axial Fluxgate and Search-coil Magnetometers: measured magnetic field data[2]
  • Electric Field and Langmuir Probe Experiment: measured electric field data, plasma density and temperature[2]

See alsoEdit


  1. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Pfaff2001
  2. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named nssdc
  3. 3.0 3.1 "News & Events". FAST Education and Public Outreach. University of California, Berkeley. Retrieved September 5, 2015. 

External linksEdit

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