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NASA OKs IMAP Mission’s Transition to Implementation Phase

1 min read
Interstellar Mapping
Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe Mission

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Princeton University and their partner institutions have received approval from NASA to start implementing a mission meant to help analyze the flow of particles from the sun and understand the interactions between the solar wind and the interstellar medium.

The Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe (IMAP) mission is scheduled to launch in February 2025 and will involve a solar-powered spacecraft that will be located at the first Lagrange point or about 1 million miles away from Earth to monitor how the solar wind interacts with the interstellar medium, APL said Tuesday.

The IMAP mission will carry 10 scientific instruments to help researchers further study the heliosphere’s boundary and how this magnetic barrier filters cosmic rays.

The IMAP team conducted a preliminary design review of mission requirements, spacecraft design, science plans, costs and schedule in May and received NASA confirmation on July 12th to advance the program to the next development phase that includes final mission and spacecraft design efforts.

NASA announced in July that the mission achieved Key Decision Point C, marking IMAP’s transition from formulation to the implementation phase. In September 2020, SpaceX secured a potential $109.4 million contract to provide launch services for the IMAP mission.

IMAP is the fifth mission in the space agency’s Solar Terrestrial Probes program, which is managed by the heliophysics program office at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

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