Heliophysics and Planetary Science Branch

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The Heliophysics and Planetary Science Branch studies the coupled Sun-Earth system and the terrestrial planets and icy satellites of our solar system. Our heliophysics portfolio includes instrumentation development, sounding rocket flight, and research focusing on energy transfer across physical scales throughout the solar atmosphere.  Our planetary science portfolio includes research on the origin, composition, and evolution of terrestrial planetary bodies, focusing on geological, geophysical, and related models, experiments, and observations conducted in the field, laboratory, and via analysis of remotely sensed data from space-based missions.

Successful Launch of Chromospheric Layer Spectropolarimeter (CLASP2.1) Sounding Rocket

October 20, 2021

On 10/8/21, the CLASP2.1 sounding rocket experiment was launched from White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.  Observing the Sun for more than six minutes, CLASP2.1 measured the linear and circular polarization across several important ultraviolet spectral lines formed in …

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Scintillation Prediction Observations Research Task (SPORT)

October 20, 2021

The Brazilian Technical Institute for Aeronautics (ITA) continues Attitude Determination and Control System (ADCS) testing utilizing the engineering model (EM); the tests performed on Attitude Acquisition Mode were successful.  Software development is continuing, along with analyzing the impacts and required …

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Von Braun Symposium

October 20, 2021

Michael Zanetti (ST13) and Renee Weber (MSFC Chief Scientist) took part in the NASA-UAH Von Braun Symposium on 10/13/21 as part of an hour-long panel discussion, Section 7 Crossroads: Intersecting Science and Exploration. Other panelists were Kathy Byars (ISS Science …

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Invited Presentation at ITASAT-2 Mission Formulation Science Workshop

October 6, 2021

Linda Habash Krause (ST13) was invited to present MSFC’s Charge Analyzer Responsive to Local Oscillations (CARLO) instrument as a science payload candidate for the Brazilian-led ITASAT-2 mission.  The Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica (ITA) led the workshop, which included James Spann, …

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Marshall Speaker at American University Colloquium

October 6, 2021

Sabrina Savage (ST13) gave a virtual Heliophysics career path talk geared toward undergraduates for a colloquium at American University (Washington, DC) entitled “Sometimes it *does* take a rocket scientist”.  The students and faculty were engaged with the topic with follow-up …

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