A Delta 2 rocket rises amidst smoke and flames as it launches the Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions During Substorms (THEMIS) satellites into orbit at 6:01 p.m. on 17 February 2007 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The following excerpt from a NASA press release describes the mission:
THEMIS consists of five identical probes that will track violent, colorful eruptions near the North Pole. This will be the largest number of scientific satellites NASA ever launched into orbit aboard a single rocket. The THEMIS mission aims to unravel the tantalizing mystery behind auroral substorms, an avalanche of magnetic energy powered by the solar wind that intensifies the northern and southern lights. The mission will investigate what causes auroras in the Earth's atmosphere to dramatically change from slowly shimmering waves of light to wildly shifting streaks of bright color. THEMIS will help to provide another piece of the puzzle that will help scientists further understand how and why these space storms create havoc with satellites, power grids and communications systems.