NASA has selected three of the ten finalists among 10 new small satellite projects in the future.
According to “phys”, among the finalists is a robotic task in 2022 to study two asteroid systems, twin spacecraft to study the effects of active particles around Mars, a moon orbit run by the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, to study water on the moon, At least one of these tasks is expected to be transferred to final selection and release.
The missions will contribute to NASA’s goal of understanding the content, origin and evolution of our solar system. They will also support the defense of planets and help bridge cognitive gaps as NASA advances its plans to explore humans for the moon and Mars.
• Janus: Reconnaissance missions to binary asteroids will study the evolutionary configuration and effects of small asteroids and build a precise model of binary asteroids. The binary asteroid is a system of two asteroids orbiting the center of their common mass. The principal investigator is Daniel S. at the University of Colorado.
• EscaPADE: This task aims to identify multiple ranges of acceleration processes that lead to the state of escape from Mars’s atmosphere, as well as how the atmosphere responds to the continuous flow of solar wind flowing through the sun. The main investigator for this task is Robert Lillis of the University of California, Berkeley.
• Lunar Trailblazer: will explore the water directly on the moon to determine how closely its shape and abundance are related to geology.
The finalists were selected from 12 proposals submitted in 2018 through an opportunity called SMPLEx Small Creative Missions, which were selected on the basis of potential scientific value and feasibility of development plans.
They will receive funding for up to one year to develop the design of the idea, with the completion of the Initial Design Review (PDR), NASA will evaluate PDR results, and then commit to choosing one or more mission concepts to begin implementation and flights.
Laurie S. “SIMPLEx offers invaluable opportunities for increasingly innovative ways to conduct planetary science research,” said Giles, director of NASA’s Planetary Science Department.
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