NASA selects four small astrophysics missions for study

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NASA announced Jan. 7 it selected three smallsat missions and one high-altitude balloon mission as the first in its new Astrophysics Pioneers program. The program, established last year, is intended to support small astrophysics missions, including smallsats and balloons as well as International Space Station payloads. The agency selected the four from 24 proposals it received in the fall.

‘Each of the proposed experiments would do something no other NASA telescope or mission can do, filling important gaps in our understanding of the universe as a whole,’ Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA associate administrator for science, said in a statement about the Astrophysics Pioneers selections. He praised the scientists who proposed the missions for applying ‘innovative, out-of-the-box thinking to the problem of how to do high-impact astrophysics experiments on a small budget.’

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Publisher: SpaceNews
Date: 2021-01-10T00:04:56+00:00
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NASA Selects 4 Astrophysics Missions to Study Universe’s Secrets

‘The principal investigators of these concept studies bring innovative, out-of-the-box thinking to the problem of how to do high-impact astrophysics experiments on a small budget,’ said Thomas H. Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. ‘Each of the proposed experiments would do something no other NASA telescope or mission can do, filling important gaps in our understanding of the universe as a whole.’

As neutron stars collide, some of the debris blasts away in particle jets moving at nearly the speed of light, producing a brief burst of gamma rays. Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/CI Lab

Publisher: SciTechDaily
Date: 2021-01-08T14:40:19-08:00
Author: Mike O 039 Neill
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NASA selects potential small-scale astrophysics missions, Hubble measures exoplanet’s odd orbit

The Hubble Space Telescope has successfully measured the highly eccentric and distant orbit of an exoplanet circling a double star system 336 light years from Earth. The new exoplanet information is potentially important much closer to home as scientists search for the proposed Planet Nine in our solar system.

Meanwhile, NASA has selected four small astrophysics mission concepts for further study as part of the experimental Pioneers program, which seeks SmallSat or balloon missions with $20 million cost caps that will give early-to-mid-career scientists an opportunity to lead their own mission.

Publisher: NASASpaceFlight.com
Date: 2021-01-08T20:46:58+00:00
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NASA confirms four new space missions

The program itself is also perceived as an unusually risky step for NASA, as the agency rarely solicits such low-cost experimental projects.

Galaxies are undergoing this beautiful dance in which inflowing and outflowing gases balance each other

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The Aspera mission’s goal is to provide the first-ever direct observations of a certain portion of the circumgalactic medium ‘ vast “oceans” of low-density gas permeating certain galaxies and in some cases even connecting them, bridging large distances across the cosmos.

Carlos Vargas, a postdoctoral researcher in Arizona’s Steward Observatory, said the familiar pictures of galaxies as luminous archipelagos floating in space, filled with millions or billions of stars, tell only a small part of their story.

Publisher: Express.co.uk
Date: 2021-01-08T11:27:00+00:00
Author: Tom Fish
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NASA Selects 4 Concepts for Small Missions to Study Universe’s Secrets

Through small satellites and scientific balloons, these selections enable new platforms for exploring cosmic phenomena such as galaxy evolution, exoplanets, high-energy neutrinos, and neutron star mergers.

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Aspera is a SmallSat that will study galaxy evolution. Through observations in ultraviolet light, it will examine hot gas in the space between galaxies, called the intergalactic medium, and the inflow and outflow of gas from galaxies. The intergalactic medium is a major component of the universe, but is poorly measured; Aspera would close this gap. The principal investigator is Carlos Vargas at the University of Arizona.

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Publisher: spaceref.com
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NASA Missions To Study Universe’s Secrets

(CNN) ‘ NASA wants to know the secrets of the universe and it’s planning several missions to learn them.

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The program will plan four small-scale astrophysics missions to take a deep dive into what makes our universe tick.

These are some big scientific ideas, but NASA says it plans to keep the missions to learn more about them at a low cost.

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Publisher: WLTZ
Date: 2021-01-09T15:35:41-05:00
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Greetings Earthlings: Cloaking was activated. The data presented above may one day be zapped to another dimension. Just thought you should be aware. Alert, alert. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.