From our colleagues at the Goddard Space Flight Center:
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) Innovative Partnership Program (IPP) and Earth Science Division will be hosting a Commercial Suborbital Vehicles Workshop at the GSFC on September 7, 2011.
The purpose of the proposed workshop is to provide information for Earth and Space scientists about these vehicles capabilities, and to examine and discuss science topics that might be conducted from these platforms.
Suborbital reusable launch vehicles could enable researchers to directly access the mesosphere, lower thermosphere (MLT) region of the atmosphere (50-140 km altitude), repeatedly, many times per day, at low-cost, and at very low velocities in many different environmental locations around the planet (no hypersonic shock).
The key opportunities enabled by the unique capabilities of the commercial suborbital vehicles is that they would provide frequent and low cost access to the mesosphere, lower thermosphere (MLT) region of the atmosphere (50-140 km altitude). This region is very difficult to study and especially sample as it is too high for balloons and too low for satellite observations. There are numerous unresolved scientific issues related to the MLT that we simply cannot currently address because of inadequate observational sampling. Atmospheric observations ...Read More