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Published:October 16th, 2008 08:51 EST
Sneak Peek of the Mission for Interstellar Boundary Explorer

Sneak Peek of the Mission for Interstellar Boundary Explorer

By Garrett Godwin

NASA will be holding a media teleconference for a sneak peek of the mission for Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX), who will be the first spacecraft to image and map the dynamic interactions that will be taking place where the hot solar wind slams into the cold expanse of space.  The spacecraft may be able to get confirmation of whether or not the sun`s protective bubble surrounding Earth`s solar system, also known as the the heliosphere, is to about decrease and weaken.

 Interstellar Boundary Explorer

The heliosphere is acting as protector for Earth`s solar system -- warding off most of the galatic cosmic rays.  Recently, the data has shown that the solar wind`s global pressure is the lowest seen since the birth of the Space Age.

Panelists for the conference include David McComas (main investigator for IBEX at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, TX), and Eric Christian (program scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.)

The conference is this Friday at 1pm, and the IBEX shuttle will launch two days later this Sunday from the Kwajalein Troll, a part of the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean.