The Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft entered the interstellar space through bubbles created by the solar wind. Both have sent back interesting data from there. However, none of the astronomers were created to answer the search for space between stars.
As a result, NASA and partners are considering an investigation tool built for this specific purpose. Some details of this plan have been published in the General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union 2021. Dr Elena Provornikova of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab said in a statement, “Intermediate probes will go to unknown local intracellular locations, where humanity has never reached before.” “For the first time, we’re going to take a picture of our huge heliosphere from the outside to see what our solar system house looks like.”
Provornikova was presenting a four-year “Realistic Concept Study”, now nearing completion. The study was not tasked with creating a detailed plan, but instead outlined possible mission goals, sorting of necessary materials, and possible trajectories. “One of our methods is to come up with a menu of what can be done in such a space mission,” said Provornikova. The previous version, proposed in 1999, was never successful. Even if the mission never goes to the ground, it could be significantly reduced after considering the cost of such a project.
Even to reach this stage, the probe will have to compete for priority with Jupiter’s Trojans mission and many other options, but advocates expect it to launch in the next 10-12 years, taking 15 more to reach the heliosphere boundary – less than half of Voyager’s travel time. In terms of distance alone, the mission will be much more ambitious than what humanity has done before. Voyager 1 is currently 152 astronomical units (distance from the Sun to Earth). The Interstellar probe has proposed to collect 1000 USD of data from the Sun, which would blame Mars missions.
Voyagers, Pioneers and New Horizons will eventually reach such a distance, but our communication will probably be cut off when they do. The most obvious purpose of the interstellar probe is to model the interstitial medium, to compose, ionize, and measure aspects such as the magnetic field. The mission can only learn about possible ways from outside the solar system, including confirming its currently predictable shape. It will use powerful neutral atoms instead of photons to create images of the heliosphere and explore the interactions between the sun and larger galaxies. More ambitious options include “trying to observe extragalactic background light from the very beginning of our galaxy formation,” Provornikova said.
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