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Preparing the spacecraft to monitor space weather

5 Feb 2018, 11:35 UTC
Preparing the spacecraft to monitor space weather
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Coronal mass ejections are packed full of highly energetic particles that permeate the solar system. Image credit: ESA/ROB
The Sun is an unpredictable, powerful and dangerous entity, which can eject material without warning in the form of coronal mass ejections. These ejections are extremely powerful and can be hazardous for humans and manmade infrastructures in space. This is why the European Space Agency (ESA) plans to put a spacecraft at a fixed position in Earth’s orbit to watch out for such events. Three out of the four teams are preparing to develop the appropriate instruments and platforms for the spacecraft are in the United Kingdom.
“This project has the potential for UK space and engineering expertise to help ensure vital communications, navigation and power networks are protected, and is a great example of what we can achieve through continued scientific collaboration with our European partners,” says Sam Gyimah, science minister. “As set out in the Industrial Strategy, the UK’s space sector is going from strength to strength, boosting the economy, employing around 40,000 people and developing innovative services with a global impact.”
The spacecraft will be placed in an orbital car-parking space 60 degrees behind Earth in its orbit around ...

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