Space Test Program-H5 Automated Plume Sentry (STP-H5 APS) Achieves Mission Success by Detecting Thruster Firings During Space-X Dragon Departure from ISS

The Space Test Program-H5 Automated Plume Sentry (STP-H5 APS) instrument successfully detected charge-exchange plasma interactions generated by two thruster firings by the Dragon spacecraft during its March 19th, 2017 departure from the ISS. The result supports the hypothesis that charged particles resulting from the ionization of neutral effluents from departing and approaching spacecraft propagate back to ISS surfaces. The data will support improved models of possible spacecraft surface contamination due to the interaction between charged surfaces and thruster-associated ionized particles. APS is a collaboration between the US Air Force Academy, Barron Associates, Inc. (Charlottesville, VA), and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab; and is funded by the Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate.

The image below shows Dragon during its departure from the ISS.

Space-X(image credit NASA)


Related links:

NASA description of the APS experiment

Detailed compilation of the Space-X CRS-10 mission can be found at: