Launch of the PUNCH mission is scheduled for 2025

(ORDO NEWS) — More than 60 scientists and engineers are gathering at the Southwestern Research Institute on August 23-24 to start collaborating on NASA’s Polarimeter to Unify the Corona and Heliosphere (PUNCH) mission.

PUNCH will fly into space with the SpaceX Falcon 9 Spectrophotometer to Study the History of the Universe, Age of Reionization and Ice (SPHEREx) mission.

PUNCH, which consists of four suitcase-sized satellites, will study the Sun’s outer atmosphere, the corona, and solar wind is generated.

The spacecraft will also track coronal mass ejections, which will help scientists better understand their evolution and develop new methods for predicting such eruptions.

The PUNCH team will now be able to adjust their schedule to match the new launch date no earlier than April 2025. This extended schedule will also help mitigate the post-pandemic supply chain challenges.

Upon launch, the PUNCH satellites will be positioned along the Earth’s light divide to provide an uninterrupted, complete view of the solar corona and inner solar system.

Three PUNCH satellites will be equipped with the Wide Field Imager instrument, and the fourth satellite will have a Narrow Field Imager coronograph, which will study regions close to the Sun.

All four cameras will be synchronized in flight so that the research team can combine several images into one large one.


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