Future NASA Missions - Part 2 of 4 Parts

Future NASA Missions - Part 2 of 4 Parts

Part 2 of 4 Parts (Please read Part 1 first)

       The Euclid probe is intended to investigate dark energy and dark matter. It is being launched by the European Space Agency (ESA). NASA will provide sixteen state-of-the-art infrared detectors and four spare detectors for one of the two instruments on board the probe. NASA will carry out thorough testing of the detectors before they are sent to the ESA. The mission will calculate the acceleration of the universe in order to improve our understanding of dark matter and dark energy. The probe is designed to measure the redshift of galaxies at different distances from Earth. The calculation involves analyzing the exact relationship between the distance from Earth and the redshift. Five hundred and forty million dollars have been budgeted for this mission that is scheduled to launch in the fall of 2020.

       The Orbiting Carbon Observatory 3 (OCO-3) is the third such mission for NASA. The OCO-3 will be hosted on the International Space Station. It is designed to measure the distribution of carbon dioxide on the surface of the Earth connected to changing patterns of fossil fuel use and increasing urban populations. The previous Orbiting Carbon Observatory will be dismantled, and the parts will be used to construct the OCO-3. The OCO-3 will have three high resolution grating spectrometers that will make precise measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide. The precision and coverage of the OVO-3 instruments will make it possible to analyze the temporal and spatial variation of carbon dioxide during an annual cycle.

      It has three modes. Glint mode points the instrument toward the specular reflection of sunlight from a point onthe Earth’s surface. Nadir mode collects information about patches of ground under the ISS track. When in Target mode, the instrument will lock on to a particular ground location and keep focus on that location as the ISS
passes overhead.

       The planned length of the mission will be three years. One hundred and fifty million dollars has been budgeted for the mission. The launch date has not been decided yet.

       The Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission is a collaboration involving NASA, the Canadian
Space Agency and the French space agency. It will be the first space mission to conduct a global survey of the Earth’s surface water. The main purpose of the mission is to gather information about how bodies of water on Earth change with the passage of time. The mission will study rivers, lakes and oceans at least twice every twenty-one days over ninety percent of the surface of the Earth. The purpose of the water survey is to improve ocean circulation models and climate predictions.

        The SWOT mission will utilize a new type of radar referred to as Ka-band Radar Interferometer (KaRIN). This instrument detects microwave radiation in the frequency range of 26.5 to 40 gigahertz. Two radar antennae will detect the elevation of the surface of the Earth along a seventy five mile wide swath below the track of the satellite.

      The mission will carry out its measurements over a three-year period. Seven hundred and fifty-five million dollars have been budgeted for this mission which will launch in the middle of 2020.

Please read Part 3

SWOT satellite: