Feasibility study of a moon-enabled sun occultation mission (MESOM)
According to the Royal Academy of Engineering’s most recent assessment of space weather, better modelling and observations of the inner heliosphere represent a “crucial step in understanding all aspects of solar activities”. These include catastrophic events such as solar flares and corona mass ejections that can wreak havoc on power grids and space-based technologies.
This project, funded by the UK space agency, wants to explore the feasibility of a spacecraft mission aimed at collecting more frequent and higher-quality measurements of the inner Sun corona via Moon-enabled total solar eclipses in space. Candidate spacecraft trajectories are researched into the chaotic dynamics of the Sun-Earth-Moon system to drive the preliminary design of a UK-led small satellite platform.