#NASA, #The Galactic/Extragalactic ULDB Spectroscopic Terahertz Observatory (GUSTO), #ChristopherWalker, #UniversityofArizona, #Ultralong-DurationBalloon (ULDB), #interstellarMedium, #MilkyWay, #LargeMagellanicCloud, #McMurdo, #Antarctica
NASA had selected The Galactic/Extragalactic ULDB Spectroscopic Terahertz Observatory (GUSTO) mission that will measure emissions from the interstellar cosmic medium found between stars, media reports said.
Out of the eight proposals submitted at that time to a panel of NASA and other scientists and engineers GUSTO had been selected as the best development plan and had received a funding of approximately $40 million.
GUSTO mission, led by Christopher Walker principal investigator of the University of Arizona, will fly an Ultralong-Duration Balloon (ULDB) carrying a telescope with carbon, oxygen and nitrogen emission line detectors to enable Walker and his team in studying the interstellar medium and mapping out Milky Way and Large Magellanic Cloud galaxies.
"If we want to understand where we came from, we have to understand the interstellar medium," Walker said, "because 4.6 billion years ago, we were interstellar medium," Astronaut.com reports said.
A post by Mark Buglewicz, Assistant Director of University of Arizona on the face book account of GUSTO says,
“Congratulations to Dr. Chris Walker of Steward Observatory! The UA has just been awarded GUSTO, the Galactic/Extragalactic ULDB Spectroscopic Terahertz Observatory, a major ($40M) NASA science mission!”
GUSTO was uniquely equipped to study the interstellar medium or the stuff from which most of the universe, stars, planets, rocks, oceans and all living creatures are made.
A post by Chris Jeffries Homeless Romantic on GUSTO’s facebook account reads,
“While space is largely devoid of matter, it does contain some gas and dust that floats between stars, material known as the interstellar medium. NASA has selected the Galactic/Extragalactic ULDB Spectroscopic Terahertz Observatory (GUSTO) mission to conduct the first complete study of this matter, to better understand how it behaves,
Interstellar objects such as stars, black holes, and galaxies get a lot of attention from scientists, but the interstellar medium isn’t a trivial thing to study: it makes up about 15 percent of the total mass in the Milky Way. 99 percent of that is free floating gas, mostly hydrogen and helium, and while space is still pretty empty (We’re talking a density of an atom per cubic centimeter), the vast…
“GUSTO will provide the first complete study of all phases of the stellar life cycle, from the formation of molecular clouds, through star birth and evolution, to the formation of gas clouds and the re-initiation of the cycle,” said Paul Hertz, astrophysics division director in the Science Mission Directorate in Washington. “NASA has a great history of launching observatories in the Astrophysics Explorers Program with new and unique observational capabilities. GUSTO continues that tradition,” Astro.com reports said.
The mission is targeted to launch in 2021 from McMurdo, Antarctica, and is expected to stay in the air between 100 to 170 days, depending on weather conditions.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
Image of Milky Way: Wikipedia