NASA launched a study of the outer limits of the solar system


20/10/2008

In the Sunday, October 19th at 13:47 EST on NASA successfully launched a space probe IBEX (Interstellar Boundary Explorer mission), designed to study the interstellar external borders. IBEX - the first spacecraft that will study space activity at the boundaries of our solar system - the heliosphere.

The spacecraft separated from the third stage rocket Pegasus, immediately began to intensify the components necessary to control onboard systems. A team of scientists who control the probe continues to test a subsystem of the spacecraft.

"After a 45-day period, reaching orbit and verify that all modules, the spacecraft will start its exciting science mission," - said the IBEX mission manager Greg Frazier (Greg Frazier) of nasovskogo Goddard (NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt).

Just as an Impressionist painter creates a picture of the countless tiny strokes of paint, IBEX will build parts of the image outside the boundaries solar system, analyzing the impact on the spacecraft speed particles called energetic neutral atoms (energetic neutral atoms - ENAs). These particles are created in the boundary region where the solar wind in all directions, colliding with a cold gas of interstellar space.

According to another researcher from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, David McComas (David McComas), did not exist before such a picture of the interaction of cosmic rays at the edge of our solar system.

IBEX is the latest in a series of NASA’s cheap, quickly deployable small space probes researchers. Southwest Research Institute (Southwest Research Institute) developed the IBEX project with a team of national and international partners. In the specialized mission IBEX, with a budget of 165 million dollars, attended Moscow State University and Space Research Institute (IKI). The mission will last two years. Attention, download news ticker and learn everything first.

Original: NASA.gov


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