Illustration from ESA showing how SMILE is expected to capture images and video of the Earth’s magnetopause (red area) and the cusps (green area) during solar storms.
On 05 March the European Space Agency (ESA) decided to give a green light to move ahead with the SMILE spacecraft mission. The launch is planned in 2023. BCSS will deliver a radiation shutter mechanism and electronics to a soft X-ray imager onboard SMILE. This instrument will provide the very first images and videos of how particles in the solar wind interact with neutral gas in the Earth’s geocorona.
“This project is a true success story of our BCSS team, and it paves the way for new and innovative exploration of asymmetries in Earth’s geospace,” says Prof. Kjellmar Oksavik. “SMILE will give us the very first images and videos of how the solar wind interacts with the Earth’s magnetic field. SMILE is also likely to revolutionize our understanding of how the Solar System works.”