Nasa and other scientists presented a new interstellar mission that would travel farther than any other mission, taking up to 100 years to reach its destination. Other than Voyager 1, Voyager 2, and New Horizons, no other spacecraft have ever left the solar system. But these three spacecraft were designed to study the outermost planets of our solar system, not to explore what lies beyond.
Passing Neptune, Pluto, the dwarf planets, and even beyond the Kuiper belt, we find the heliopause, the outgoing regions of the heliosphere. The heliosphere is formed by solar wind and solar plasma. The heliosphere is a massive protective solar atmosphere that reaches to the extremities of our system.
NASA and scientists from Johns Hopkins University want to travel far beyond the Sun’s influence. They say their spacecraft is the boldest, fastest and farthest destination ever imagined. Its destination is the space between us and the nearest stars. The mission could last up to 100 years. The team says the only way to solve the mysteries of the heliosphere and understand how it protects habitable planets is to look at it from the outside.
Heliosphere: life here and life beyond
The interstellar probe mission is in advanced stages of design. The team published a complex and detailed plan of 500 pages. The plan includes information on everything from launch to flybys and science questions to answer. One of the biggest challenges is the travel time. The teams currently working on the project do not expect to live to see the results. “If you like instant gratification, don’t get involved in space exploration,Johns Hopkins University’s Ralph McNutt told reporters. The team calls for the development of a scalable science and management team plan. But it’s not just human age that worries the team. Voyagers 1 and 2 had to shut down most of their equipment due to weakening nuclear batteries. Given the distance, the Interstellar probe cannot be powered by solar power. But NASA is developing next-generation nuclear batteries.
The timing for exploring the Sun’s outer layers couldn’t be better. After 60,000 years, our Sun, solar system, and heliosphere leave a region known as the Local Interstellar Cloud. The solar system is evolving in a new environment. Scientists believe the heliospheres define solar systems and everything in them. Since the solar system began to take shape 4.6 billion years ago, our heliosphere has acted as a shield that protects us as the solar system travels through the galaxy. Understanding the heliosphere could be a monumental breakthrough for science and a step closer to other stars. “It’s time, the Interstellar probe can be prepared for launch, we are writing the story of future generations and the road to the stars awaits us“, Nasa and the mission team said.
Next: NASA wants to 3D print human organs in space and it’s ready to start testing
Source: interstellar probe, BBC
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