The TIMED (Thermosphere • Ionosphere • Mesosphere • Energetics and Dynamics) mission is dedicated to study the influences energetics and dynamics of the Sun and humans on the least explored and understood region of Earth's atmosphere – the Mesosphere and Lower Thermosphere / Ionosphere (MLTI). The mission was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on 7 December 2001 aboard a Delta II rocket launch vehicle. The project is sponsored and managed by NASA, while the spacecraft was designed and assembled by the Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University. The mission has been extended several times, and has now collected data over an entire solar cycle, which helps in its goal to differentiate the Sun's effects on the atmosphere from other effects. It shared its Delta II launch vehicle with the Jason-1 oceanography mission.

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