WASHINGTON, Dec. 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — NASA has selected two SmallSat missions – a study of Earth’s outer most atmosphere and a solar sail spaceflight test mission – to share a ride to space in 2025 with the agency’s Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe (IMAP).
The missions – the Global Lyman-alpha Imagers of the Dynamic Exosphere (GLIDE) and Solar Cruiser – were selected as Solar Terrestrial Probes (STP) Missions of Opportunity. GLIDE will help researchers understand the upper reaches of Earth’s atmosphere – the exosphere – where it touches space. Solar Cruiser demonstrate the use of solar photons for propulsion in space.
The launch of the IMAP mission in 2025 to the first Lagrangian equilibrium point (L1), about 1 million miles towards the Sun, will be a pathfinder for NASA’s new RideShare policy. With the policy, the agency’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) will plan – from the inception of major