Print Trust of India24 June 2019 10:23:32 IST
NASA will launch two new missions to advance our understanding of the Sun and its dynamic effects on space time, the US space agency said.
One of the selected missions will study how the Sun pushes particles and energy into the solar system and a second will study the Earth's response, NASA said.
Near the Earth, where these particles interact with the magnetic field of our planet, the space weather system can lead to profound impacts on human interests, such as astronaut security, radio communications, global positioning system (GPS) signals and utility networks on the ground.
The more we understand what drives the time of space and its interaction with the Earth and the lunar systems, the more we can mitigate its effects – including safeguarding astronauts and crucial technology for NASA's Artemis Moon program.
The launch date for the two missions is "no later than August 2022," NASA said in a statement. "We have carefully selected these two missions not only for the high-class science that they can do fully, but because they will work well together with the other heliophysical spacecraft advancing NASA's mission to protect astronauts, space technology and life down here Earth, "said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate director for the direction of the scientific mission at the NASA headquarters here. "These missions will make great scientific discoveries, but they are also special because they are available in small packages, which means we can start them together and get more research for the price of a single launch," said Zurbuchen.
The Polarimeter to unify Corona and Eliosfera, or PUNCH, the mission will focus directly on the external atmosphere of the Sun, on the crown and on how it generates the solar wind, according to NASA. Composed of four suitcase-sized satellites, PUNCH will imagine and follow the solar wind as it leaves the sun. The spaceship will also monitor coronal mass ejections – large eruptions of solar material that can drive large space weather events near the Earth – to better understand their evolution and develop new techniques for predicting such eruptions.
Yesterday we announced two new missions to study the Sun and its influence on the Earth: PUNCH and TRACER. https://t.co/jP3f1cTz8M
– NASA Sun & Space (@NASASun) 21 June 2019
The second mission is Tandem Reconnection and Cusp Electrodynamics Reconnaissance Satellites or TRACERS. It will observe particles and fields in the northern region of the terrestrial magnetic cusp – the region that surrounds the terrestrial pole, where the lines of the magnetic field of our planet curve towards the Earth.
The field lines guide the particles from the border between the earth's magnetic field and the interplanetary space down into the atmosphere. In the cusp area, with its easy access to our border with interplanetary space, the TRACERS will study how the magnetic fields around the Earth interact with those of the Sun.
TRACERS will be the first space mission to explore this cusp process with two spacecraft, providing observations on how processes change in space and time. The unique TRACER measures will help NASA's mission to safeguard our technology and space astronauts, NASA said.
Together, these missions will investigate how the star we live with pushes radiation into space, he said.
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. (tagToTranslate) Earth (t) GPS signals (t) Magnetic field (t) Polarimeter to unify Corona and heliosphere (t) Mission PUNCH (t) solar particles (t) Solar system (t) Solar wind (t) space meteorology (t ) spatial meteorological system (t) Sun (t) Reconnection in tandem and cusps Electrodynamics Reconnaissance satellites (t) TRACKERS