The Living With a Star (LWS) program emphasizes the science necessary to understand those aspects of the Sun and the Earth’s space environment that affect life and society. The ultimate goal is to provide a predictive understanding of the system, and specifically of the space weather conditions at Earth and in the interplanetary medium.
LWS missions have been formulated to answer specific science questions needed to understand the linkages among the interconnected systems that impact us. LWS products impact technology associated with space systems, communications and navigation, and ground systems such as power grids.The coordinated LWS program includes strategic missions, targeted research and technology development, a space environment test bed flight opportunity, and partnerships with other agencies and nations.Living With A Star
Who would have ever thought to consider our own Sun as a member of the Cosmos, as a Star?
|Solar Probe Fact Sheet(click on Image)|
Solar Probe+ will be an extraordinary and historic mission, exploring what is arguably the last region of the solar system to be visited by a spacecraft, the Sun’s outer atmosphere or corona as it extends out into space. Approaching as close as 9.5 solar radii* (8.5 solar radii above the Sun’s surface), Solar Probe+ will repeatedly sample the near-Sun environment, revolutionizing our knowledge and understanding of coronal heating and of the origin and evolution of the solar wind and answering critical questions in heliophysics that have been ranked as top priorities for decades. Moreover, by making direct, in-situ measurements of the region where some of the most hazardous solar energetic particles are energized, Solar Probe+ will make a fundamental contribution to our ability to characterize and forecast the radiation environment in which future space explorers will work and live. See:Solar Probe Plus
As with anything if we want peer deeper in the construction of the world around us it is necessary sometimes to put on different glasses for different perspectives. So it is about how we can look at the universe around us.
Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) observes particles of solar, interplanetary, interstellar, and galactic origins, spanning the energy range from solar wind ions to galactic cosmic ray nuclei. This mission is part of SMD’s Explorers Program. This mission is part of SMD’s …
Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM) is a mission to determine the causes of the highest altitude clouds in the Earth’s atmosphere. The number of clouds in the middle atmosphere (mesosphere) over the Earth’s poles has been increasing over …
The Balloon Array for Radiation-belt Relativistic Electron Losses mission is a balloon-based Mission of Opportunity to augment the measurements of NASA’s RBSP spacecraft. This mission is part of SMD’s LWS program.
The Coupled Ion-Neutral Dynamics Investigations (CINDI) is a mission to understand the dynamics of the Earth’s ionosphere. CINDI will provide two instruments for the Communication/Navigation Outage Forecast System (C/NOFS) satellite, a project of the United States Air Force. This mission …
Cluster is a European Space Agency program with major NASA involvement. The 4 Cluster spacecraft are providing a detailed three-dimensional map of the magnetosphere, with surprising results. This mission is part of SMD’s Heliophysics Research program.
Equator-S was a German Space Agency project, with contributions from ESA and NASA, related to the International Solar-Terrestrial Physics program. The mission provided high-resolution plasma, magnetic, and electric field measurements in several regions not adequately covered by any of the …
Fast Auroral Snapshot Explorer (FAST) studies the detailed plasma physics of the Earth’s auroral regions. Ground support campaigns coordinate satellite measurements with ground observations of the Aurora Borealis, commonly referred to as the Northern Lights. The science instruments on board …
The GEOTAIL mission is a collaborative project undertaken by the Japanese Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS) and NASA. Its primary objective is to study the tail of the Earth’s magnetosphere. The information gathered is allowing scientists to model …
| Hinode (Solar-B)
Hinode (formerly known as Solar-B) is a Japanese ISAS mission proposed as a follow-on to the highly successful Japan/US/UK Yohkoh (Solar-A) collaboration. The mission consists of a coordinated set of optical, EUV and X-ray instruments that are studying the interaction …
IBEX will be the first mission designed to detect the edge of the Solar System. As the solar wind from the sun flows out beyond Pluto, it collides with the material between the stars, forming a shock front. This mission …
IMAGE studied the global response of the magnetosphere to changes in the solar wind. Major changes occur to the configuration of the magnetosphere as a result of changes in and on the Sun, which in turn change the solar wind.
IMP 8 has deepened understanding of the space environment near Earth in many ways. Observations from IMP 8 provided insight into plasma physics, the Earth’s magnetic field, the structure of the solar wind and the nature of cosmic rays.
The primary goal of the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) explorer is to understand how the solar atmosphere is energized. The IRIS investigation combines advanced numerical modeling with a high resolution UV imaging spectrograph.
The ISEE (International Sun-Earth Explorer) program was an international cooperative program between NASA and ESA to study the interaction of the solar wind with the Earth’s magnetosphere.
The Magnetospheric Multiscale mission will determine the small-scale basic plasma processes which transport, accelerate and energize plasmas in thin boundary and current layers – and which control the structure and dynamics of the Earth’s magnetosphere. MMS will for the first …
Polar is the second of two NASA spacecraft in the Global Geospace Science (GGS) initiative and part of the ISTP Project. GGS is designed to improve greatly the understanding of the flow of energy, mass and momentum in the solar-terrestrial …
The RBSP mission will provide scientific understanding, ideally to the point of predictability, of how populations of relativistic electrons and ions in space form and change in response to variable inputs of energy from the Sun.
Reuven Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscope Imager (RHESSI) studies solar flares in X-rays and gamma-rays. It explores the basic physics of particle acceleration and explosive energy release in these energetic events in the Sun’s atmosphere. This is accomplished by imaging …
The Solar Anomalous and Magnetospheric Particle Explorer is investigating the composition of local interstellar matter and solar material and the transport of magnetospheric charged particles into the Earth’s atmosphere.
SNOE (“snowy”) was a small satellite investigating the effects of energy from the Sun and from the magnetosphere on the density of nitric oxide in the Earth’s upper atmosphere.
Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) is a solar observatory studying the structure, chemical composition, and dynamics of the solar interior. SOHO a joint venture of the European Space Agency and NASA. This mission is part of SMD’s Heliophysics Research program.
| Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO)
The Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) is the first mission and crown jewel in a fleet of NASA missions to study our sun. The mission is the cornerstone of a NASA science program called Living With a Star (LWS). The goal …
| Solar Orbiter
Solar Orbiter is a European Space Agency (ESA) mission to study the Sun from a distance closer than any spacecraft previously has, and will provide images and measurements in unprecedented resolution and detail. This mission is part of SMD’s LWS …
| Solar Probe Plus
Solar Probe Plus will be a historic mission, flying into one of the last unexplored regions of the solar system, the Sun’s atmosphere or corona, for the first time. This mission is part of SMD’s LWS Program.
| Space Environment Testbeds
The Space Environment Testbeds (SET) Project performs flight and ground investigations to understand how the Sun/Earth interactions affect humanity.
| Spartan 201
Spartan is a small, Shuttle-launched and retrieved satellite. Spartan 201, whose mission is to study the Sun, has a science payload consisting of two telescopes: the Ultraviolet Coronal Spectrometer (UVCS) and the White Light Coronagraph (WLC). Spartan 201 was launched …
Space Technology 5 (ST5) flight tested its miniaturized satellites and innovative technologies in the harsh environment of Earth’s magnetosphere.
The goal of STEREO is to understand the origin the Sun’s coronal mass ejections (CMEs) and their consequences for Earth. The mission consists of two spacecraft, one leading and the other lagging Earth in its orbit. The spacecraft carries instrumentation …
Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms (THEMIS) is a study of the onset of magnetic storms within the tail of the Earth’s magnetosphere. THEMIS will fly five microsatellite probes through different regions of the magnetosphere and observe …
Thermosphere, Ionosphere, Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics (TIMED) explores the energy transfer into and out of the Mesosphere and Lower Thermosphere/Ionosphere (MLTI) region of the Earth’s atmosphere. This mission is part of SMD’s Solar Terrestrial Probes Program.
Transition Region and Coronal Explorer (TRACE) observes the effects of the emergence of magnetic flux from deep inside the Sun to the outer corona with high spatial and temporal resolution. This mission is part of SMD’s Heliophysics Explorers program. This …
| TWINS A & B
TWINS will provide stereo imaging of the Earth’s magnetosphere, the region surrounding the planet controlled by its magnetic field and containing the Van Allen radiation belts and other energetic charged particles. This mission is part of SMD’s Explorers Program. This …
The Ulysses Mission is the first spacecraft to explore interplanetary space at high solar latitudes, orbiting the Sun nearly perpendicular to the plane in which the planets orbit. This mission is part of SMD’s Heliophysics Research program.
The twin Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft continue exploring where nothing from Earth has flown before. In the 25th year after their 1977 launches, they each are much farther away from Earth and the Sun than Pluto is and approaching …
Wind studies the solar wind and its impact on the near-Earth environment. This mission is part of SMD’s Heliophysics Research program.
Yohkoh, an observatory for studying X-rays and gamma-rays from the Sun, is a project of the Institute for Space and Astronautical Sciences, Japan.