On Thursday, 6 April, SIOS signed a joint statement of scientific coordination with NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) and UiO (The University in Oslo). SIOS role will be the facilitation of data exchange through the SIOS data management services.
The United States, Norway and Japan signed a joint statement of scientific coordination on April 6, 2017, for participation in the Grand Challenge Initiative – Cusp - a series of international sounding rocket missions planned for launch in 2017-2019. The Grand Challenge will provide significant advances in understanding of near-Earth space beyond what each partners’ independent projects could achieve individually.
The Grand Challenge studies the cusp, a region at each pole where the magnetic bubble surrounding Earth dips inward, allowing space particles to funnel in toward our planet. The missions will launch from two sites in Norway – Andøya Space Center and Svalbard Rocket Range. Sounding rockets launched from these sites are able to fly into the cusp and measure the solar particles streaming from the sun.
The joint statement outlines a framework for data sharing and future collaboration between current and future Grand Challenge partners. All participants will develop a plan to make their data publicly available. Combining data from multiple missions maximizes the partners’ ability to research and understand this little-explored region of near-Earth space.
Ground-based sites will also provide valuable data during the missions. In some cases, launches will be conducted nearly simultaneously from Andøya and Svalbard, providing simultaneous observations at different altitudes and latitudes for the first time.
NASA missions include the Visualizing Ion Outflow via Neutral Atom Sensing-2 experiment or VISIONS-2, Twin Rockets to Investigate Cusp Electrodynamics or TRICE-2, The Cusp Alfven and Plasma Electrodyanmics Rocket or CAPER-2, Auroral Zone Upwelling Rocket Experiment or AZURE, and the Cusp-Region Experiment or C-REX 2, which also includes three Canadian university instruments.
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency will fly the SS-520-3, which investigates the ion outflow mechanism, and Norway will conduct the Investigation of Cusp Irregularities-5 or ICI-5 mission.
In addition, an international undergraduate student mission called G-Chaser will be conducted in January 2019.Additional partners are encouraged to join this effort by contributing a range of capabilities, such as ground-based observations, other space-based observations, theory, or modeling efforts. All partners will share equally in the combined database produced by GCI-Cusp.
Additional information on the GCI-Cusp is available at: http://www.grandchallenge.no
NASA Headquarters, Washington DC
Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia
University of Oslo
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Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)