NASA has selected two proposals for concept studies that could help us better understand the fundamental nature of space and how it changes in response to planetary atmospheres, radiation from the Sun, and interstellar particles.
Each of these Heliophysics Science Mission of Opportunity proposals will receive $400,000 to conduct a nine-month mission concept study.
This is an area of research undergoing rapid evolution due to data from NASA missions, such as Voyager, Parker Solar Probe and Interstellar Boundary Explorer.
The GLIDE mission would study variability in Earths exosphere, the uppermost region of its atmosphere, by tracking far ultraviolet light emitted from hydrogen.
From the start of IMAP mission formulation, NASAs Science Mission Directorate (SMD) planned to include secondary spacecraft on the launch under the agencys new SMD Rideshare Initiative, which cuts costs by sending multiple missions on a single launch.
This launch will also include a Heliophysics Technology Demonstration Mission of Opportunity which will be announced separately to test technologies that can enable future science missions, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrations (NOAA) Space Weather Follow-On mission, which will expand that agencys space weather forecasting capabilities.
We carefully select new heliophysics spacecraft to complement the well-placed spacecraft NASA has in orbit to study this vast solar wind system and our rideshare initiative increases our opportunities to send such key missions into space.