NASA names four small mission studies to protect satellites, communicationsNews
October 02, 2023
WASHINGTON. NASA has chosen four small explorer missions to conduct concept studies -- aimed at gathering information about the dynamics of the sun and related phenomena -- with the intention of gaining insight into how the agency can better protect satellites, astronauts, and communications signals.
According to the NASA announcement, the missions are the Cross-scale Investigation of Earth's Magnetotail and Aurora (CINEMA) mission, which will work to understand the structure and evolution of Earth's plasma sheet; the Chromospheric Magnetism Explorer (CMEx) mission, which intends to improve our understanding of how the magnetic field on the sun's surface connects to the interplanetary magnetic field; the Extreme ultraviolet Coronal Mass Ejection and Coronal Connectivity Observatory (ECCCO), which will attempt to address fundamental questions about where the mass and energy flow linking the Sun to the outer corona and heliosphere originate; and the Magnetospheric Auroral Asymmetry Explorer (MAAX) mission, which aims to improve understanding of how electrodynamic coupling between Earth's magnetosphere and ionosphere regulates auroral energy flow.
Any missions selected to move forward after the concept studies are conducted will join NASA's current heliophysics mission fleet, which studies the sun and space weather, and their effect on Earth and other planets.