发表: Oct. 13, 2023 By

2023年 大气与空间物理实验室 (LASP) celebrated its 75th anniversary—marking 75 years of CU Boulder’s exploration of space, from the fringes of Earth’s atmosphere to the wide expanse of interstellar space.

这所大学才刚开始. In the year ahead, scientists and engineers from across campus will take part in the first U.S. 登陆月球南极, 向地球轨道发射几颗小型卫星, 开始前往木星黑暗寒冷的卫星木卫二的旅程. 

Follow along to learn what the next year holds in store for CU Boulder in space.

 

1. 什么上升了?...

庆祝活动定于10月11日开始. 29 as a team from LASP launches a first-of-its-kind instrument in space from the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico—to investigate the fallout from an explosion that roiled a corner of the galaxy roughly 15,1000年前.

这次发射是 积分场紫外光谱实验 (INFUSE). The mission will shoot a rocket to about 250 miles above Earth’s surface, 它将把仪器指向太空的哪个方向, 在落回地球之前. 

INFUSE is trying to learn more about the structure of the Cygnus Loop supernova remnant, a shock wave that was formed millennia ago as a star died in the constellation Cygnus the Swan. 

And don’t miss these other upcoming missions that include scientists and engineers from LASP: SNIFS, EXIS  and TSIS-2 将探测太阳及其辐射,而 GOES-U 将监测地球和太空的天气.

图片来源:天鹅座环(来源:NASA/JPL-Caltech)

2. 历史性的回报

你好,月亮. 好久不见. bc体育下载研究人员 即将参加 in an effort to land science payloads from the United States on the lunar surface for the first time since the Apollo era.

该活动是美国宇航局就职典礼的一部分 商业月球有效载荷服务 (CLPS后续)任务. On Nov. 15号,该公司建造的NOVA-C着陆器 直观的机器 计划发射到月球南极吗. Aboard will be an instrument called Radio wave Observations at the Lunar Surface of the photoElectron Sheath (ROLSES). ROLSES, 由四个天线组成, will map out the layer of charged particles that hovers just about the surface of the moon—and could pose risks to future lunar astronauts.

“We are going to the surface of the moon for the first time in over 50 years,杰克·伯恩斯说, a co-investigator on the instrument and professor emeritus in the 天体物理与行星科学系.

图片来源:月球南极(图片来源:NASA/JPL-Caltech)

3. 生日快乐,MAVEN

今年,一艘特殊的宇宙飞船迎来了盛大的生日. Nov. 18日是2013年美国宇航局发射航天飞机10周年 火星大气和挥发性演化 (MAVEN)任务. Several of the instruments on the spacecraft were designed and built by scientists and engineers in Boulder at LASP.

MAVEN正在帮助解决一个红色星球的谜团:火星是如何, 数十亿年前可能被海洋覆盖的地方, 失去所有的水? 来自宇宙飞船的数据揭示了来自太阳的辐射 随着时间的推移剥离了行星的大气层—transforming it into the cold and desolate landscape it is today.

MAVEN仍然 绕地球运行 并试图解开火星的秘密.

图片:艺术家对MAVEN在火星上的描绘. (来源:美国国家航空航天局/戈达德宇航中心)

4. Whoosh!

听到这个消息? 一种新的高科技 工程实验室正在向校园进发—at speeds of nearly Mach 30, or more than 20,000 miles per hour.

7月, 安和H.J. Smead航空航天工程科学系 启动了一个新的高超音速研究设施的建设. This plasma wind tunnel will allow scientists to recreate what happens to spacecraft when they smack into Earth’s atmosphere at incredible speeds, 升温到华氏17度以上,000华氏度. 

The new wind tunnel is the brainchild of Assistant Professor Hisham Ali, 该项目将于2024年完工. 这很快.

图片:Hisham Ali

5. 神秘的科学

In the coming year, two eerie astronomical events are heading for North America: On Oct. 2023年4月14日,美国西部部分地区.S. 将见证 日环食或“火环”日食. 然后在2024年4月, a total solar eclipse will similarly pass above swaths of Texas, 阿肯色州和其他州.

为了庆祝这些罕见而黑暗的事件 Fiske天文馆 推出了一系列视频和外展活动,名为 阴影中的科学. 除了以日食为特色, the program will explore the unique physics that scientists can explore during “occultations” and “transits”—or when one celestial body, 比如月亮或行星, 从另一个人的前面经过, 像一颗星星, 短暂地挡住了它的光. 该项目由道格拉斯·邓肯领导, 天体物理学和行星科学名誉教授, 和约翰·凯勒, 菲斯克主任.

“There is science that can be done during eclipses, occultations and transits,” Keller said. “One technique for discovering planets in other systems is by detecting them as they transit in front of stars."

图片:1992年的日环食. (来源: CC photo via Flickr)

6. 立方体卫星的

小卫星. 大科学. 

In the coming year or more, scientists at CU Boulder are scheduled to launch 四颗立方体卫星进入太空. These petite spacecraft are no bigger than a toaster oven but will collect scientific data that far outstrip their size. 它们包括 Climatology of Anthropogenic and Natural VLF wave Activity in Space (CANVAS) led by Robert Marshall, associate professor of aerospace engineering. CANVAS将绕地球运行, tracking the bursts of energy that fly into space when lightning strikes—which happens a whopping 50 times per second on our planet.

Learn more about CANVAS and these other, upcoming CubeSat missions: AEPEX, MAXWELL and SPRITE.

Image: Artist's depiction of the Supernova Remnants and Proxies for ReIonization Testbed Experiment (SPRITE) CubeSat. (来源:LASP)

7. 旗舰发射

In October 2024, Colorado’s big year in space is scheduled to end with a bang—a literal one—as 美国宇航局的木卫二快船 宇宙飞船从佛罗里达州肯尼迪航天中心发射升空. 这次旗舰任务将携带 大约5000万美元 called the SUrface Dust Analyzer (SUDA) designed and built at LASP.

They’re going on a long journey: Europa Clipper will travel nearly 2 billion miles to Jupiter and its moon Europa—a body about the size of Earth’s moon where a thick layer of ice surrounds a deep ocean. There, the mission will explore whether Europa harbors conditions that could support living organisms. 

It’s a good beginning for CU Boulder’s next 75 years of space exploration.

图片:SUDA在LASP的洁净室. (资料来源:Glenn Asakawa/CU Boulder)