SCIENCE

Utah State University helps NASA with space exploration

Apr 21, 2022, 3:05 PM | Updated: May 13, 2022, 2:27 pm
This Sept. 24, 2020 photo shows the major parts of the IRIS radio that the Space Dynamics Laborator...
This Sept. 24, 2020 photo shows the major parts of the IRIS radio that the Space Dynamics Laboratory built. Photo credit: Allison Bills/Space Dynamics Laboratory.

SALT LAKE CITY — The Space Dynamics Laboratory, SDL, at Utah State University received a contract to build two space-based radios for NASA named Iris radios. More specifically, it will build radios for NASA’s Solar Cruiser mission. 

According to The Planetary Society, Solar Cruiser is a NASA mission launching in 2025. This mission’s purpose is to test a large solar sail in an artificial orbit between the Earth and Sun. The solar sail will expand past the length of more than six tennis courts. The artificial orbit of the Solar Cruiser will provide advance warning of solar storms that damage satellites. Solar storms also disrupt power grids on Earth. 

How does SDL play a role in the Solar Cruiser Mission?

Operating in deep space is very difficult due to chilling temperatures that can drop to 455 degrees Fahrenheit, according to SDL. Therefore, spacecraft systems, such as radios, need to be able to withstand such severe conditions. The space-based radios designed by SDL are built to perform in extreme space environments. 

“Iris will incorporate an environmentally robust architecture, including radiation-tolerant parts, and advanced thermal management needed for navigation tracking and other operations,” said SDL’s Solar Cruiser Iris Radio Program Manager Tim Neilsen. 

How this new technology will help future missions

SDL said that the solar sail technologies used in this mission will help future missions with science questions about the sun and its interaction with the Earth. Additionally, through this mission, NASA will improve space-weather monitoring, prediction, and science. 

Related Stories:

Today’s Top Stories

Science

BYU competes in URC....
Amie Schaeffer

BYU students compete in a contest that’s out of this world

A team of BYU engineering students placed in the top ten in the University Rover Challenge. The competition hosted students from 10 countries.
21 days ago
supermoon lunar eclipse map...
Curt Gresseth

Be over the moon because total lunar eclipse coming Sunday to Utah

Patrick Wiggins, NASA solar system ambassador to Utah, explains what a total lunar eclipse is and when it can be witnessed Sunday night in Utah -- provided the skies are clear.
2 months ago
(A testing site operated by Nomi Health across the street from UDOH headquarters.  Photo: Paul Nels...
Paul Nelson

Federal health officials investigating Utah-based company over COVID-19 testing

A Utah-based company is being investigating for claims of substandard conditions at COVID-19 testing sites.
3 months ago
radio circle...
Ashley Strickland, CNN

Mysterious ‘odd radio circles’ seen in space, new image shows

Astronomers found the odd radio circles using the Australian SKA Pathfinder telescope, operated by Australia's national science agency CSIRO, or Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, two years ago.
3 months ago
mental health daylight exposure...
Jacob Rueda

Researchers say mental health affected by daylight exposure

With daylight saving time possibly becoming permanent, researchers say daylight exposure can affect mental health, and more darkness during winter might be harmful,
3 months ago
Artemis I...
Ashley Strickland, CNN

NASA rolls mega Artemis I moon rocket out to the launchpad

Originally Published: 17 MAR 22 09:33 ET Updated: 18 MAR 22 13:22 ET (CNN) — The Artemis I mission is another step closer to its lunar launch. The massive 322-foot-tall (98 meters) stack, which includes NASA’s Space Launch System rocket topped by the Orion spacecraft, rolled out for its testing debut at Kennedy Space Center […]
3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Utah State University helps NASA with space exploration