FP TrendingJan 11, 2021 14:30:08 IST
NASA has approved two heliophysics missions to explore the Sun, led by the Japanese space agency. The missions, apart from studying various phenomena related to the sun’s atmosphere, will also observe the systems that drive space weather near Earth. The missions are slated for 2026 launch. As per a statement by NASA, the Extreme Ultraviolet High-Throughput Spectroscopic Telescope Epsilon Mission (EUVUST) and Electroject Zeeman Imaging Explorer (EZIE) will help scientists understand the Sun and Earth as an interconnected system. Scientists are of the opinion that understanding the physics that drive solar wind and solar explosions could in the future, help them predict the events, which in turn can impact human technology as well as explorers in space.
The EUVST Epsilon Mission is led by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), in partnership with other international organisations. The EUVST, targeted from launch in 2026, is a solar telescope that will study how the solar 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. NASA’s budget for the 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 EZIE, in turn, will study electric currents in Earth’s atmosphere linking aurora to the Earth’s magnetosphere. The total budget for the EZIE mission is $53.3 million while the principal investigator for the mission is Jeng-Hwa (Sam) Yee at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland.
Speaking about the new missions, Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for science at NASA Headquarters in Washington stated that they are pleased to add the new missions to the growing fleet of satellites that are studying the Sun-Earth system, adding that he is particularly excited to follow up the success of the Yohkok and Hinode solar science missions.