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.

The Changing Lunar Surface Environment: Hazards and Resources Chapter Published

September 22, 2021

Heidi Haviland (ST13) contributed the chapter, “The changing lunar surface environment: hazards and resources” for the book, “The Human Factor in the Settlement of Luna: An Interdisciplinary Approach”, edited by Margaret Boone Rappaport and Konrad Szocik. This book has been …

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Scintillation Prediction Observations Research Task (SPORT)

September 22, 2021

The Brazilian Technical Institute for Aeronautics (ITA) started the integration of the SPORT flight unit.  They are testing Attitude Determination and Control System (ADCS) software utilizing the engineering model (EM). The issue of dropping instrument data packets has been resolved. …

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Payloads and Research Investigations on the Surface of the Moon (PRISM) Project Scientist

September 22, 2021

Heidi Haviland (ST13) was selected as the Project Scientist for the Commercial Lunar Payloads System (CLPS) PRISM1a delivery. This position is a part time detail to the Exploration Science Strategy and Integration Office (ESSIO) office at HQ and the CLPS …

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Paper Published: An Examination of the Sunspot Area Dataset” 1875-2017

September 9, 2021

“Paper I, An Overview” by Robert M. Wilson (ST13) has been published in the Journal of the Alabama Academy of Science, Volume 91(2), pp. 99-115, November 2020. Examined are annual values of sunspot number (SSN), corrected sunspot area (SSA), number …

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Rocksat-X Student Rocket Launch

September 9, 2021

The sounding rocket mission for student led projects, Rocksat-X : (46.030 UO KOEHLER/COLORADO SPACE GRANT ROCKSAT-X) successfully launched and was recovered from Wallops Flight Facility on the evening of 8/19/21. The project, led by Chris Koehler and Abby Schefer of …

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