NASA have selected a USD 42 million mission that can help scientists understand and, eventually, predict the vast space weather system around the earth.
Space weather is important because it can have massive impacts -affecting technology and astronauts in space, disrupting radio connectivity and, at its most serious, overpowering power grids.
The new experiment will certainly, the very first time, get global observations of an important driver of space weather conditions in a dynamic region of Earth’s upper atmosphere which will cause interference with radio and GPS communications, NASA stated in a press release.
The Atmospheric Waves Experiment (AWE) mission will cost USD 42 million and is prepared to launch in August 2022, attached with the outside of the Earth-orbiting International Space Station (ISS).
Research workers once believed that only the Sun’s constant outflow of ultraviolet light and particles, the solar wind, could affect the region.
However, in recent times they have got discovered that solar variability is insufficient to drive the changes observed, and Earth’s weather also must be obtaining a direct impact.
To help resolve that connection, AWE will investigate how waves in the lower environment, a result of variations in the densities of different packets of air, effect the upper atmosphere.
AWE is a Mission of Opportunity under NASA’s Heliophysics Explorers Program, which performs focused scientific research and develops instrumentation to fill the scientific gaps between the agency’s larger missions.
Since the 1958 establish of NASA’s first satellite Explorer 1, which found out Earth’s radiance belts, the Explorers Program has backed up more than 90 missions. The Uhuru and Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) missions resulted into Nobel prizes for their scientists.
“The Explorers Program seeks innovative ideas for small and cost-constrained missions that can help unravel the mysteries of the universe and discover our place in it,” stated Paul Hertz, NASA’s Director of Astrophysics.
“This mission absolutely meets that standard with a creative and cost-effective mission to solve mysteries about Earth’s upper atmosphere,” stated Hertz.
AWE was selected for development depending on its potential science value as well as the feasibility of its development offers.
NASA also has chosen the Sun Radio Interferometer Space Experiment (SunRISE) for a seven-month, USD 100,000 extended formulation research. SunRISE would be an array of 6 CubeSats operating like one large radio telescope.
This proposed mission will investigate how giant space storms from the Sun, known as solar particle storms, are enhanced and emitted into planetary space.