Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe (IMAP) mission at Princeton

Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe


David McComas Headshot

Prof. David McComas, Princeton University Space Physics Group

Welcome to IMAP, the Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe!

Launching in 2025, the IMAP mission simultaneously investigates two of the most important issues in space physics today — the acceleration of energetic particles and interaction of the solar wind with the interstellar medium.

This revolutionary mission includes a suite of 10 instruments that work together to resolve fundamental scientific questions about the local interstellar medium, the boundaries that surround our solar system, and how particles are accelerated to high energies in space.

IMAP offers wide-ranging and groundbreaking opportunities for scientific discovery. For example, IMAP reveals how cosmic rays are filtered by the heliosphere. These particles pose risks to astronauts and technological systems. They may even play a role in the formation and presence of life itself in the universe.

The IMAP science team consists of many of the world’s leaders in instrumentation, data analysis, theory & modeling, and understanding of particle acceleration and the global heliosphere. The mission is led by PI Prof. David McComas in the Space Physics at Princeton Group. Together, IMAP’s 10 instruments provide the first comprehensive in-situ and remote global observations to discover the fundamental physical processes that control our solar system’s evolving space environment. Additional information about the mission can be found in the Open Access IMAP Paper.

IMAP Spacecraft Assembly - Live!

[This video has no sound] Welcome to the 24-hour livestream video feed from inside the clean room at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab in Laurel, Maryland, where the IMAP spacecraft is being assembled. This is a LIVE behind-the-scenes look at the integration and testing (I&T) for the spacecraft.

Over the course of the next few months, engineers will install the spacecraft harness, electronics, communications systems, thermal systems, propulsion, batteries, and many more complex systems to make the spacecraft work. Additionally, all 10 of IMAP’s instruments will arrive from around the world and be integrated with the spacecraft one by one. Finally, the spacecraft will begin testing before being sent to NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center for final testing prior to launch.

Learn more about the beginning of IMAP's Integration and Testing!


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By Liz Fuller-Wright, Office of Communications.

On Monday, April 8, the moon will pass between the Earth and the sun for about four hours. For a few precious minutes, the moon will completely block our view of our favorite star for people in the “path of totality.” Here in New Jersey, just outside that path, the…


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