NASA: Missions Selected to Study Sun & Its Effects on Space Weather

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NASA: Missions Selected to Study Sun & Its Effects on Space Weather

Post by bystander » Fri Jun 21, 2019 3:25 pm

NASA Selects Missions to Study Our Sun, Its Effects on Space Weather
NASA | 2019 Jun 20

NASA has selected two new missions to advance our understanding of the Sun and its dynamic effects on space. One of the selected missions will study how the Sun drives particles and energy into the solar system and a second will study Earth’s response. ...

The Polarimeter to Unify the Corona and Heliosphere, or PUNCH, mission will focus directly on the Sun’s outer atmosphere, the corona, and how it generates the solar wind. Composed of four suitcase-sized satellites, PUNCH will image and track the solar wind as it leaves the Sun. The spacecraft also will track coronal mass ejections – large eruptions of solar material that can drive large space weather events near Earth – to better understand their evolution and develop new techniques for predicting such eruptions. ...

The second mission is Tandem Reconnection and Cusp Electrodynamics Reconnaissance Satellites, or TRACERS. The TRACERS investigation was partially selected as a NASA-launched rideshare mission, meaning it will be launched as a secondary payload with PUNCH. NASA’s Science Mission Directorate is emphasizing secondary payload missions as a way to obtain greater science return. TRACERS will observe particles and fields at the Earth’s northern magnetic cusp region – the region encircling Earth’s pole, where our planet’s magnetic field lines curve down toward Earth. Here, the field lines guide particles from the boundary between Earth’s magnetic field and interplanetary space down into the atmosphere. ...

NASA selects SwRI’s PUNCH mission to image beyond the Sun’s outer corona
Southwest Research Institute | 2019 Jun 20

UK scientists set to work with NASA on a new mission to study the Sun
UK Science and Technology Facilities Council | 2019 Jun 20
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
— Garrison Keillor

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SwRI: PUNCH Mission to Image Sun's Outer Corona Enters Phase B

Post by bystander » Tue Oct 01, 2019 4:43 pm

SwRI-led PUNCH Mission to Image Sun’s Outer Corona Enters Phase B
Southwest Research Institute | 2019 Sep 26

The Polarimeter to Unify the Corona and Heliosphere (PUNCH) mission has entered Phase B, which marks the transition from concept study to preliminary flight design. The mission, led by Southwest Research Institute, is set to launch in early 2023 and will image the Sun’s outer corona and beyond.

NASA selected SwRI in June 2019 to lead the PUNCH mission. PUNCH consists of four microsatellites the size of suitcases that will orbit the Earth in formation to study how the Sun’s atmosphere, or corona, connects with the interplanetary medium, and to provide the first global images of how the solar corona infuses the solar wind with mass and energy.

“In this phase, our team will advance the mission concept to a preliminary full design of the mission,” said Dr. Craig DeForest, scientist and program director in SwRI’s Space Science and Engineering Division. “The overall goal for the phase is to refine our existing concept design and make sure all the elements can come together on a practical level.” ...
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
— Garrison Keillor