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.

Marshall Scientists Meet with Wallops Flight Facility Management About Potential Use of KNaCK Instrument

November 15, 2021

Marshall ST10 (Walt Petersen and Nicole Pelfrey) leaders and ST13 members (David McKenzie, Mitzi Adams, and Michael Zanetti) met with NASA Wallops Flight Facility management (David Pierce, WFF Director, and Range Management Staff led by Scott Schaire) to discuss use …

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MSFC Researcher Speaks to High School Physics Classes About His Education and Career

November 2, 2021

Dennis Gallagher (ST13) spoke to two physics classes at North High School in Des Moines, Iowa, his Alma Mater on 11/5/2021. The title of his presentation, “I’m From Iowa; I Only Work In Space,” focuses on his educational experiences formal …

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Delivery and Mechanical Integration of NMLS Flight Unit

November 2, 2021

Neutron Measurements on the Lunar Surface (NMLS) is a project to deliver an instrument manifested on Astrobotic Technology’s Peregrine Lander Mission One, to be launched on the new ULA Vulcan Centaur, landing on the Lacus Mortis plateau (44oN, 25oE). Astrobotic …

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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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