NASA is currently the largest space agency in the world. It keeps trying to understand the countless mysteries of space.
For this purpose, various NASA missions keep running.
At present, NASA has selected two solar missions to understand the mysteries of the Sun and the connection between the Sun and the Earth in a better way.
It is expected that the new NASA Solar Missions will be helpful in improving our understanding of the dynamics of the Sun.
They will explain the Sun-Earth relationship in a better way.
They will search for the reason for the constantly changing space environment, and they will also reveal the many unsolved mysteries of space.
The missions will also provide vital information for the safety of astronauts, satellites, and GPS.
What are NASA Solar Missions?
You know that the Sun is the most important member of our solar family. Man has been receiving life energy from the Sun for ages. Without the Sun, we cannot even imagine life on Earth.
That is why NASA wants to go deeper to understand the Sun and the Sun-Earth relationship.
Therefore, it has announced that it is going to start two new solar missions-
- Multi-slit Solar Explorer (MUSE)
Through these two missions, NASA will increase its knowledge in the matter of the Sun, Earth, and Space.
Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for science at NASA Headquarters, Washington, said,
“MUSE and HelioSwarm will provide new and deeper insight into the solar atmosphere and space weather. These missions not only extend the science of our other heliophysics missions—but they also provide a unique perspective and a novel approach to understanding the mysteries of our star.”
What is Mission Multi-slit Solar Explorer (MUSE):
The MSUE mission will help scientists understand the forces that heat the Sun’s corona. Apart from this, it will also collect information about the explosions in its outer region, due to which changes in space weather keep happening. This will help to understand the reasons for the continuous changes in the space environment.
This mission will obtain the highest resolution images of the solar transition region and corona with the help of a powerful instrument called a Multi-slit Spectrometer.
Perhaps the name of this mission has been named Multi-slit Solar Explorer after this device.
It will provide deeper insights into the study of the solar atmosphere.
The mission will also be able to provide complementary observations from heliophysics research such as the Extreme Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Telescope and ground-based observatories.
Nicola Fox, director of the Heliophysics Division at NASA Headquarters, said, “MUSE will help us fill crucial gaps in knowledge pertaining to the Sun-Earth connection. It will provide more insight into space weather and complement a host of other missions within the heliophysics mission fleet.”
The main objective of MUSE is to investigate the causes of coronal heating and instability such as flares and coronal mass ejections and gain insight into the basic plasma properties of the corona.
The head investigator of this mission is Bart DePontieu of Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center (LMATC) in Palo Alto, Calif. The budget of the mission is $192 million. LMATC will provide project management.
What is Mission HeioSwarm:
The name of the mission, HelioSwarm, appears to be a combination of two words, Helio and Swarm. Let us tell you that the outermost atmospheric layer of the Sun is called Helio.
Here a swarm of nine aircraft has been included in this mission of NASA.
Perhaps that is why these missions have been named HelioSwarm.
The swarm of the nine aircraft included in the HelioSwarm mission will capture the first multiscale in-space measurement of fluctuations in the magnetic field and the motions of the solar wind known as solar wind turbulence.
The Sun’s outermost atmospheric layer, called the heliosphere, covers a vast area of the Solar System.
The HelioSwarm mission will investigate turbulence and its evolution in the solar wind.
Peg Luce, deputy director of the Heliophysics Division, said,
“The technical innovation of HelioSwarm’s small satellites operating together as a constellation provides the unique ability to investigate turbulence and its evolution in the solar wind,”
The budget of the mission HelioSwarm is $250 million. The head investigator of the mission is Harlan Spence from the University of New Hampshire.
It is hoped that both these ambitious missions of NASA will be successful in their objectives.
They will increase our knowledge about the Sun. These will help us improve our understanding of the relationship between the Sun and the Earth. Apart from this, these missions will also be successful in uncovering the unknown secrets of space till now.