NASA Funds Research into Satellite Swarm to Study Space Weather Effects in LEO

Graphic depiction of In-situ Neutral-Optics Velocity Analyzer for Thermospheric Exploration (INOVATE). (Credits: Marcin Pilinski)j

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

NASA is funding research into a swarm of satellites that would enable scientists to measure the impacts of space weather in low-Earth orbit.

The space agency awarded a NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Phase 1 grant worth $175,000 to Marcin Pilinski of University of Colorado Boulder for the In-situ Neutral-Optics Velocity Analyzer for Thermospheric Exploration (INOVATE) project.

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NASA Selects Futuristic Space Technology Concepts for Early Study

Credit: NASA

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — An astronaut steps into a body scanner and, hours later, walks on Mars in a custom-made spacesuit, breathing oxygen that was extracted from Mars’ carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere. On Venus, an inflatable bird-like drone swoops through the sky, studying the planet’s atmosphere and weather patterns. Ideas like these are currently science fiction, but they could one day become reality, thanks to a new round of grants awarded by NASA.

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