NASA Announces Shortlisted Mission Proposals for Explorers Program
Four space exploration mission proposals under NASA’s Explorers Program have been shortlisted and will be put under detailed evaluation. The proposals aim to conduct research on stars and distant and nearby galaxies. NASA will perform the assessment and then choose one explorer mission of opportunity and one astrophysics medium explorer mission by 2024. The selected missions are planned for deployment in 2027 and 2028, respectively, NASA said.
The shortlisted medium explorer proposals are UltraViolet Explorer, a spacecraft that will use two bands of ultraviolet light to provide new insights into galaxy evolution and the lifecycle of stars, and the Survey and Time-domain Astrophysical Research Explorer, designed to perform deep X-ray surveys of transient cosmic sources using an ultraviolet telescope and infrared observations from NASA’s Roman Space Telescope. Both missions will receive $3 million each to conduct a nine-month mission concept study.
Under the mission of opportunity category, NASA selected the Moon Burst Energetics All-sky Monitor and a large-area burst polarimeter. MoonBEAM would orbit between the Earth and the moon to watch for bursts of gamma rays from distant cosmic explosions and notify other telescopes to study the space event. LEAP, meanwhile, would be mounted on the International Space Station to study gamma-ray bursts from energetic jets launched during a black hole formation or the merger of compact objects. The proposals are each entitled to $750,000 in funding for a concept study that will last nine months.
Tags: Explorers Program LEAP MoonBEAM NASA space STAR-X Thomas Zurbuchen UVEX