The Space Plasma Physics Team at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL conducts experimental and theoretical research to support the engineering, scientific, and operational activities of the NASA Office of Space Flight and Office of Space Science.
Our principal objective is to develop an understanding of the physical processes that control the geospace plasma environment and its interaction with both natural and man-made bodies in space. Our unique emphases are on the plasma that originates in the ionosphere, and its heating in auroral light displays. The heating causes plasma to escape from Earth's gravity, producing a plasma fountain, which in turn has been found to supply plasma to the acceleration regions that generate disruptive space plasma storms. The basic physics of moving plasmas, and their interactions with bodies in space, provide the fundamental basis for our research.