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‘NASA approved EUVST and EZIE missions’

  • Category
    Science & Technology
  • Published
    19th Jan, 2021

NASA has approved two heliophysics missions to explore the Sun and the system that drives space weather near Earth.

Context

NASA has approved two heliophysics missions to explore the Sun and the system that drives space weather near Earth.

About

The Extreme Ultraviolet High-Throughput Spectroscopic Telescope Epsilon

  • Led by: The EUVST Mission is led by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), in partnership with other international organisations.
  • Launching: The EUVST is targeting a launch date in
  • It is a solar telescope that will study how the sun's atmosphere releases solar wind and drives eruptions of solar material.
  • NASA's hardware contributions to the mission include an intensified UV detector and support electronics, spectrograph components, a guide telescope, software and a slip-jaw imaging system to provide context for the spectrographic measurement.
  • Budget: NASA's budget to the whole mission is $55 million.
  • The principal investigator for the NASA contribution to EUVST is Harry Warren at the US Naval Research Laboratory in Washington.

The Electrojet Zeeman Imaging Explorer

  • Launched by: NASA has slated the mission for launch in June 2024.
  • The EZIE mission is made up of three Cubesats which will study electric currents in Earth's atmosphere linking aurora to the Earth's magnetosphere.

Magnetosphere

  • The magnetosphere is the region of space surrounding Earth where the dominant magnetic field is the magnetic field of Earth, rather than the magnetic field of interplanetary space.
  • The magnetosphere is formed by the interaction of the solar wind with Earth's magnetic field.
  • Budget: The total budget for the EZIE mission is $53.3 million.
  • The principal investigator for the mission is Jeng-Hwa (Sam) Yee at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland.

Significance of the mission:

  • Understanding of the interconnected system: The missions will help understand the Sun and Earth as an interconnected system.
  • Helpful in prediction of important events: Understanding the physics that drive the solar wind and solar explosions – including solar flares and coronal mass ejections – could one day help scientists predict these events, which can impact human technology and explorers in space.
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