NASA SunRISE mission to study solar storms from the Sun

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NASA SunRISE mission to study solar storms from the Sun
NASA SunRISE mission to study solar storms from the Sun

New Delhi : NASA's new announced mission, called the Sun Radio Interferometer Space Experiment (SunRISE), will be conducting a study on the solar storms created by the sun. NASA has awarded $62.6 million to design, build and launch SunRISE by no earlier than July 1, 2023.

SunRISE will be keeping a close track on how Sun generates and releases the giant weather storms, known as the solar particle storms, into space.

This will help the researchers in understanding the solar system in a better way. The findings will enable astronauts to protect themselves from solar storms while their journey to other planets like Mars or the Moon, NASA said in a press release.

SunRISE contains six CubeSats which will work together as a large radio telescope. Each of the CubeSats would run on solar power and would be of the size of a toaster oven.

Together, these will observe radio images of low-frequency emission from solar activity and create 3D maps to locate the origin place of a solar particle storm on the Sun. it will also study the outward movement of these solar particles into the space. 

The total project has been given a fund of $62.6 million for building, designing and launching the mission. 

NASA's SunRISE mission will be headed by Justin Kasper of the University of Michigan and managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. The launch date of the mission has been set for July 1, 2023.

"The more we know about how the Sun erupts with space weather events, the more we can mitigate their effects on spacecraft and astronauts," said Nicky Fox, director of NASA’s Heliophysics Division.

In August 2017, NASA had shortlisted SunRISE, along with other mission of opportunity proposal, for the 11-month concept study. It was later approved an additional formulation study in 2019. 

Missions of Opportunity are part of NASA’s oldest continuous program called the Explorers Program. These aim at providing low-cost, efficient and frequent access to space for various missions.