The Bulletin Board

UNH in space: Scientists chosen by NASA to lead $250 million HelioSwarm mission

By: - February 11, 2022 3:00 pm
A sunset over mountains during autumn

The mission will study how turbulence in space heats space plasma. (Getty Images)

UNH’s Space Science Center will lead a $250 million space mission after being selected by NASA, the university announced on Friday. The budget for this mission is the university’s largest to date, according to the announcement.

Researchers will be charged with preparing nine spacecraft and managing the team of scientists that will study how the sun impacts the environment in space, information the university said will eventually help protect astronauts and satellite technology. Among the craft to be put in orbit are a large hub and eight smaller spacecraft, called nodes, to help scientists better understand turbulence in space. Scientists at UNH will design the instruments that will be on the craft and man the Science Operations Center for the mission.

The mission, which is called HelioSwarm, will observe how turbulence in space heats space plasma, the matter that makes up the sun, stars, solar wind, and the upper atmosphere of Earth.

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Amanda Gokee
Amanda Gokee

Amanda Gokee reported on energy and environment for New Hampshire Bulletin. She also previously reported on these issues at VTDigger. Amanda grew up in Vermont and is a graduate of Harvard University. She received her master’s degree in liberal studies, with a concentration in creative writing, from Dartmouth College. Her work has also appeared in the LA Review of Books and the Valley News.