On picture above: size comparison of Ceres, Moon and Earth.
The NASA is all set to launch its probe better known as the interstellar and acceleration probe in the year 2024. With the mission, it plans to study how the solar wind interacts with the wind of all the other stars. The officials of the space agency said that it will help them study the bubble around the solar system.
The so-called bubble is called heliosphere. The sheath which is made by the sun itself is made of the solar magnetic field and charged solar particles. This heliosphere is supposedly protecting the earth and all the other heavenly bodies within the solar system from the radiations and harmful rays from the outer space. The agency plans to study this protective bubble around the solar system and how it functions.
But, easier said than done, this protective layer is not that easily penetrable. The Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe hopes to collect the particles that are fast moving and make their way through the bubble. The main mission of the probe will be to find out the exact way how this protective bubble works to keep all the harmful rays and radiation away from the solar system.
One of the officials of the agency said that the results of the mission will be evaluated to analyse as they are planning to send humans deep into space. During the statement, he also revealed that it is this boundary which protects the planet and that they wish to study it further.
The NASA chose the IMAP from a number of proposals which were submitted last year for its mission in the space. It will be launched from a gravitationally stable point called earth-sun Lagrange point 1, which is to be shot about 1.5 kilometres away from the planet towards the sun. The probe will be carrying ten scientific instruments to study the particles passing through the bubble. This will help the researchers understand how the rays penetrate the sheath and travel inside.
The entire costing of the mission is about 492 million dollars. The IMAP will be the fifth mission in the solar-terrestrial probe’s program of NASA. The other four missions were initiated with collaboration with the European space agency and the Japan aerospace exploration agency. This mission will create an important milestone in the exploration of aspects of our solar system.