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Two new NASA missions will study solar weather


NASA has chosen two new missions to study the sun and its dynamic effects on space.

The first focuses on how the brightest star drives particles and energy into the Solar System while the second star looks at the Earth's response.

Here is the lesson of science for the day: Sun produces a huge solar particle blast, known as the solar wind, which creates a dynamic radiation system called space time.

Near Earth, where such particles interact with our planet's magnetic field, the space weather system can deeply affect people's everyday life, affecting radio communications, GPS signals and electricity networks.

The more we (ie the scientists) understand what drives the time of space and its interaction with the earth and the lunar system, the more we (even the scientists) can do to mitigate its effects. As well as ensuring the safety of astronauts and technology that is vital to NASA's Artemis Moon program.

"We have carefully selected these two missions not only because of the high science they can do on their own," according to Thomas Zurbuchen, co-operating commander of the NASA Science Division. "But because they will work well together with the other sunscreen spacecraft that advance NASA's mission to protect astronauts, space technology and life down here on Earth."


The polarimeter to unify the Corona and Heliosphere or PUNCH will directly focus on the external atmosphere of the sun, the corona and how it produces the solar wind.

Four suitcase sized satellites will depict and watch the solar wind as it leaves the Sun. the spacecraft will also be subjected to crown mass jets (large explosions of solar material).

PUNCH is headed by Craig DeForest at Boulder Southwest Research Institute, Col. Including launch costs, the project is funded for $ 165 million.


Disappointingly not called Judy, TRACERS (Tandem Reconnection and Cusp Electrodynamics Reconnaissance Satellites), the primary role is to observe how magnetic fields around the Earth interact with them from the Sun.

It will be the first space mission to investigate the magnetic reconnection – a process in which our planet's magnetic field lines are remodeling, sending particles out at speeds close to those of light – with two spaceships.

The program is run by Craig Kletzing at the University of Iowa. Without including the cost of vehicles, TRACERS is funded for an amount not exceeding $ 115 million.

"These missions will be great science, but they are special because they come in small packages, which means we can start them together and get more research on the price of a single launch," Zurbuchen said in a statement.

The pair, headed by the Explorer of the Gods Program at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, is due to start at the latest in August 2022.

Join the Reddit space agency this afternoon for a Ask Me Anything (AMA) meeting from 12:30 to 1:30 pm EDT.

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