TitleAntarctic mesospheric clouds formed from space shuttle exhaust
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsStevens, MH, Meier, RR, Chu, X, DeLand, MT, Plane, JMC
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Date Published07/2005

New satellite observations reveal lower thermospheric transport of a space shuttle exhaust plume into the southern hemisphere two days after a January, 2003 launch. A day later, ground-based lidar observations in Antarctica identify iron ablated from the shuttle's main engines. Additional satellite observations of polar mesospheric clouds (PMCs) show a burst that constitutes 10–20% of the PMC mass between 65–79°S during the 2002–2003 season, comparable to previous results for an Arctic shuttle plume. This shows that shuttle exhaust can be an important global source of both PMC formation and variability.

Short TitleGeophys. Res. Lett.

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