Spacecraft to Study the Edge of the Solar System

The farthest human-made spacecraft, Voyager 1, is currently over 13 billion miles away from the Earth. At that distance, the spacecraft has passed through the heliosphere—the border between our solar system and interstellar space—which... Read more
The farthest human-made spacecraft, Voyager 1, is currently over 13 billion miles away from the Earth. At that distance, the spacecraft has passed through the heliosphere—the border between our solar system and interstellar space—which means technically, Voyager 1 has left the solar system completely. Despite having a spacecraft fly through this region, scientists still don’t understand much about the heliosphere. As NASA, SpaceX, and others plan various missions to send humans to Mars, one of the biggest questions is how safe astronauts will be while traveling through interplanetary space for months at a time. The primary danger of deep space travel is the kind of interstellar radiation particles around the heliosphere. But exactly how safe is still an open question. Read less
Laurel, MD ( )
July 13, 2018
Submitted by: popularmechanics
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Popular Mechanics

June 1, 2018The Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe (IMAP) mission, planned for launch in 2024, will sample, analyze, and map particles streaming to Earth from the edges of interstellar space.  IMAP will collect and analyze particles that make it through the heliosphere, a sort of magnetic bubble surrounding and protecting our solar... Read more
June 1, 2018

The Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe (IMAP) mission, planned for launch in 2024, will sample, analyze, and map particles streaming to Earth from the edges of interstellar space.  IMAP will collect and analyze particles that make it through the heliosphere, a sort of magnetic bubble surrounding and protecting our solar system. This region is where the constant flow of particles from our Sun, called the solar wind, collides with material from the rest of the galaxy, and limits the amount of harmful cosmic radiation entering the heliosphere. The spacecraft will be positioned about one million miles (1.5 million kilometers) away from Earth towards the Sun at what is called the first Lagrange point or L1. This will allow the probe to maximize use of its instruments to monitor the interactions between solar wind and the interstellar medium in the outer solar system.

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NASA Green Lights Spacecraft to Study the Edge of the Solar System

06/04/2018 - Popular Mechanics

NASA Selects Mission to Study Outer Solar System

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