NASA Selects Ball Aerospace for CMEx Mission Concept Study

NASA Selects Ball Aerospace for CMEx Mission Concept Study

Ball Aerospace was selected to manage a concept study for NASA's Chromospheric Magnetism Explorer (CMEx), a proposed mission concept that could provide new insights into how magnetism drives eruptive activity on and near the surface of the sun. The science of CMEx aims to help the scientific community better its understanding of our sun and its impacts on space, Earth, and other planets.

The prospective mission concept would use a near ultraviolet spectropolarimeter as its primary scientific instrument to make novel observations of the sun's magnetic field as it evolves from the photosphere through the chromosphere, the layer of the sun's atmosphere above the visible surface. This data will give scientists a better understanding of how magnetic energy buildup leads to eruptions such as solar flares and coronal mass ejections, a major gap in our current heliophysics research capabilities.  

CMEx also aims to identify the magnetic sources of the solar wind, which would help explain discrepancies between observed magnetic flux near the solar surface and the magnetic flux measured near the Earth — called the "open flux problem" — which currently makes space weather predictions less accurate.

"The CMEx mission concept provides a unique opportunity to answer some of the biggest questions we still have about the sun, and it could help to mature our spectropolarimetry capabilities considerably," said Lisa Wood, senior director, Strategic Operations, Ball Aerospace. "We're excited about the prospect of leading such a fascinating mission."

Dr. Holly Gilbert, director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research's (NCAR) High Altitude Observatory (HAO), will serve as the principal investigator for the nine-month study. If CMEx is down-selected at the end of the Explorers Program concept study, the investigation will move into detailed design and, pending a successful preliminary design review, mission implementation. NCAR/HAO will lead the science mission, and Ball Aerospace will manage the project, build the state-of-the-art spectropolarimeter and spacecraft, and operate the mission. The project continues Ball Aerospace's legacy of providing reliable, cutting-edge hardware for NASA's Explorers program.

Click here to learn about NASA's Astrophysics Programs.

Publisher: SatNow
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GNSS Constellations - A list of all GNSS satellites by constellations


Satellite NameOrbit Date
BeiDou-3 G4Geostationary Orbit (GEO)17 May, 2023
BeiDou-3 G2Geostationary Orbit (GEO)09 Mar, 2020
Compass-IGSO7Inclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)09 Feb, 2020
BeiDou-3 M19Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)16 Dec, 2019
BeiDou-3 M20Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)16 Dec, 2019
BeiDou-3 M21Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)23 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 M22Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)23 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 I3Inclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)04 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 M23Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)22 Sep, 2019
BeiDou-3 M24Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)22 Sep, 2019


Satellite NameOrbit Date
GSAT0223MEO - Near-Circular05 Dec, 2021
GSAT0224MEO - Near-Circular05 Dec, 2021
GSAT0219MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0220MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0221MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0222MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0215MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0216MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0217MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0218MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017


Satellite NameOrbit Date
Kosmos 2569--07 Aug, 2023
Kosmos 2564--28 Nov, 2022
Kosmos 2559--10 Oct, 2022
Kosmos 2557--07 Jul, 2022
Kosmos 2547--25 Oct, 2020
Kosmos 2545--16 Mar, 2020
Kosmos 2544--11 Dec, 2019
Kosmos 2534--27 May, 2019
Kosmos 2529--03 Nov, 2018
Kosmos 2527--16 Jun, 2018


Satellite NameOrbit Date
Navstar 82Medium Earth Orbit19 Jan, 2023
Navstar 81Medium Earth Orbit17 Jun, 2021
Navstar 78Medium Earth Orbit22 Aug, 2019
Navstar 77Medium Earth Orbit23 Dec, 2018
Navstar 76Medium Earth Orbit05 Feb, 2016
Navstar 75Medium Earth Orbit31 Oct, 2015
Navstar 74Medium Earth Orbit15 Jul, 2015
Navstar 73Medium Earth Orbit25 Mar, 2015
Navstar 72Medium Earth Orbit29 Oct, 2014
Navstar 71Medium Earth Orbit02 Aug, 2014


Satellite NameOrbit Date
NVS-01Geostationary Orbit (GEO)29 May, 2023
IRNSS-1IInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)12 Apr, 2018
IRNSS-1HSub Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (Sub-GTO)31 Aug, 2017
IRNSS-1GGeostationary Orbit (GEO)28 Apr, 2016
IRNSS-1FGeostationary Orbit (GEO)10 Mar, 2016
IRNSS-1EGeosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)20 Jan, 2016
IRNSS-1DInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)28 Mar, 2015
IRNSS-1CGeostationary Orbit (GEO)16 Oct, 2014
IRNSS-1BInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)04 Apr, 2014
IRNSS-1AInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)01 Jul, 2013