PIA25789: Completed SunRISE SmallSats Pictured Together
 Mission:  SunRISE 
 Spacecraft:  SmallSat
 Product Size:  4720 x 4575 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  Space Dynamics Laboratory 
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA25789.tif (48.32 MB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA25789.jpg (1.967 MB)

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Shown here at Utah State University's Space Dynamics Laboratory in Logan, Utah, in November, 2023, the six satellites that make up NASA's Sun Radio Interferometer Space Experiment (SunRISE) mission are each only about the size of a cereal box, flanked by small solar panels. Once in space, the six SmallSats fly about 6 miles (10 kilometers) apart and each deploy four radio antennas that extend 10 feet (2.5 meters).

Using a technique called interferometry, the six satellites will effectively act like one big radio receiver and detect solar radio bursts, or eruptions of radio waves in the outer atmosphere of the Sun. In the places where these radio bursts arise, scientists also see eruptions of accelerated particles, which can damage spacecraft electronics, including on communications satellites in Earth orbit, and pose a health threat to astronauts. Keeping track of solar radio bursts and pinpointing their location could help warn humans of approaching accelerated particles.

Figure A and B provide alternate views of the SunRISE satellites arranged in a circle.

SunRISE is a Mission of Opportunity under the Heliophysics Division of NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD). Missions of Opportunity are part of the Explorers Program, managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. SunRISE is led by Justin Kasper at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, California. Utah State University's Space Dynamics Laboratory built the SunRISE spacecraft.

Image Credit:
Space Dynamics Laboratory/Allison Bills

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