As we send more and more satellites into orbit and we want to send both human and robotic explorers farther into the Solar system, we still have problems to solve. One of them is how we deal with the weather in space. The Sun emits a large amount of radiation , and sometimes solar flares and the activity of charged particles competing in space can reach their peak. This radiation can affect the electronics we plan to use and can be harmful to human health .
Now NASA plans to study dangerous space weather phenomena in more detail than ever before using a group of six small satellites in a project called SunRISE. Working in harmony, the satellites will each be just the size of a toaster, but will be able to operate like a 6-mile-wide telescope, obtaining more detailed data on space weather than we can.
SunRISE Satellites to be Launched in 2024
The first of six SunRISE satellites was recently completed and the project will launch in 2024 . Jim Lux , SunRISE project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory , said in a statement:
“It’s really exciting to see the spacecraft come together. In a few years these satellites will form a large space telescope observing the Sun from the Earth’s surface.”
The plan is for six satellites to orbit in a formation to create a virtual telescope orbiting about 22,000 miles away. These satellites will detect bursts of radio waves from the Sun and transmit this information to Earth, where they can be used to make detailed 3D maps of emissions from the Sun.