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  • Ariane 6 launches: NASA’s radio detective CURIE

Ariane 6 launches: NASA’s radio detective CURIE

Written by  Tuesday, 02 April 2024 07:59
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CURIE in cleanroom with students

Europe’s newest rocket soon launches, taking with it many space missions each with a unique objective, destination and team at home, cheering them on. Whether launching new satellites to look back and study Earth, peer out to deep space or test important new technologies in orbit, Ariane 6’s first flight will showcase the versatility and flexibility of this impressive, heavy-lift launcher.

CURIE rendition in flight
CURIE rendition in flight

CURIE is made up of two spacecraft that will launch bolted together as one, later separating into two in orbit. From their separate vantage points, the satellites CURIE A and B will make it possible to measure the same radio waves from two locations at the same time. Using the technique of radio ‘interferometric analysis,’ the origin of detected radio waves can be reconstructed.

The principal science objective for CURIE is to use radio ‘interferometry’ to study radio burst emissions from solar eruptions, such as flares and coronal mass ejections in the inner heliosphere. These events drive space weather, its influence being felt on Earth and other planets when they occur, in increasing auroral activity and geomagnetic effects.

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