Studying the Edge of the Heliosphere
NASA’s Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe (IMAP) mission, which APL is building in partnership with Principal Investigator David McComas of Princeton University, will explore our solar neighborhood, called the heliosphere — decoding the messages in particles from the Sun and beyond our cosmic shield.
APL’s Role in the Mission
Princeton University professor David J. McComas leads the mission with an international team of 24 partner institutions. APL builds the spacecraft and one of IMAP’s 10 instruments, IMAP-Ultra. After launch, APL will operate the mission.
APL is performing flight hardware and software development, mission systems engineering, safety and mission assurance, and preparing for spacecraft integration and environmental testing, and mission and science operations post-launch.
Launch: February 2025
Principal Investigator: David McComas, Princeton University
Project Manager: John Scherrer, Johns Hopkins APL
Project Scientist: Joe Westlake, Johns Hopkins APL
Advancing designs built to study energetic particles around Earth and Saturn, IMAP-Ultra will image energetic particles from the edge of the solar system, providing detailed visuals of what happens when the Sun’s solar wind meets interstellar space. IMAP-Ultra is one of 10 instruments that will be included on the spacecraft.