NASA has selected Princeton University's IMAP mission led by Prof. McComas and is planned for launch in 2024.
Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe (IMAP) mission at Princeton
Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe
Welcome to IMAP, the Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe!
Launching in 2024, 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.