In news– Recently, NASA selected two more missions called Multi-slit Solar Explorer (MUSE) and HelioSwarm missions that will help understand the dynamics of the Sun, the Sun-Earth connection, and the constantly changing space environment.
About MUSE and HelioSwarm missions-
- The primary goal of the MUSE mission 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.
- It will offer deeper insight into the physics of the solar atmosphere by using a powerful instrument known as a multi-slit spectrometer to observe the Sun’s extreme ultraviolet radiation and obtain the highest resolution images ever captured of the solar transition region and the corona.
- MUSE will obtain high-resolution images of the evolution of solar flare ribbons in a field of view focused on a large, active region on the Sun.
- It will also provide complementary observations from heliophysics research such as the Extreme UltraViolet Spectroscopic Telescope and ground-based observatories.
- It will provide more insight into space weather and complements a host of other missions within the heliophysics mission fleet.
- The principal investigator for this mission is Bart DePontieu of the Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center (LMATC) of Palo Alto, California.
- It is a constellation or “swarm” of nine spacecraft that will capture the first multiscale in-space measurements of fluctuations in the magnetic field and motions of the solar wind known as solar wind turbulence.
- The Sun’s outermost atmospheric layer, the heliosphere, encompasses an enormous region of the solar system.
- Solar winds spread through the heliosphere, and their interactions with planetary magnetospheres and disruptions such as coronal mass ejections affect their turbulence.
- HelioSwarm consists of one hub spacecraft and eight co-orbiting small satellites that range in distance from each other and the hub spacecraft.
- The hub spacecraft will maintain radio contact with each small satellite.
- 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.
- This mission’s principal investigator is Harlan Spence from the University of New Hampshire.