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NASA is about to launch two important experiments on the International Space Station with SpaceX’s Dragon

NASA is about to launch two important experiments on the International Space Station with SpaceX’s Dragon

NASA is ready to adjust Two important new experiments On the International Space Station (ISS): Atmospheric Wave Experiment (AWE) and Integrated Laser Communications Relay Demonstration of the Low-Earth Orbit User Modem and Loudspeaker Terminal (Illuma-T). The necessary instruments will be loaded on board Dragon’s Spacewhich is scheduled to take off Sunday 5 November From the Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex in Florida (USA). The other purpose of the assignment is delivery New supplies of food and equipment For the crew currently on the International Space Station.

Experience air waves (awe)

Goal Dread mission It is to understand how Weather conditions on the ground Influence on the weather A region of space close to our planet. NASA emphasizes that this is necessary to be able to maintain the operation of the instruments in orbit, since some meteorological events can affect the operation of, for example, Communications or satellite navigation systems. The experiment will consist of collecting information related to the so-called “atmospheric gravitational waves” (Atmospheric gravity waves, Agw), which form naturally within the Earth’s atmosphere when disturbances such as violent thunderstorms, hurricanes, or tornadoes occur. It is a phenomenon similar to that which gives rise to sea waves, and can occur at the interface between two different liquids (such as atmospheric air and the ocean surface) or, in the specific case of air, at what is called Meteorological FrontWhich separates two air masses with different temperatures, pressures and humidity. The study of Agw will become possible thanks to the installation of a specific instrument on the International Space Station (Advanced mesosphere temperature chart, Amtm), designed to acquire wide-field nighttime images for two years and thus map the temperature of the Agw that is generated about 90 km from Earth (which more or less corresponds to the boundary between the Earth’s atmosphere and space), before it propagates into the near-space region of the earth.

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Illuma-T It is instead designed for Testing of high data rate laser communications From the International Space Station to Earth. Tests will be conducted through one Data exchange High-precision, which will exploit optical communications, with NASA’s Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD), which was launched in December 2021 and is currently in geosynchronous orbit around Earth. “Once Illuma-T reaches the space station, the station will send high-resolution data, including images and video, to an LCD screen on Speed ​​1.2 Gbps“, He explains Matt Magsamin, Deputy Project Manager. “The data will then be sent from Lcrd to ground stations in Hawaii and California. This test will appear How laser communications can be useful for low-Earth orbit missions“.