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Space Dynamics Lab Chosen by NASA to Study from Int'l Space Station

The Herald Journal Wednesday, Mar. 13, 2019

Utah State University physics professor Mike Taylor has studied upper atmospheric gravity waves for more than three decades. Now, he can lead a project chosen by NASA to study the atmosphere from the International Space Station. A camera that will mount to the station is expected to launch in August 2022. “This is such an exciting and unique opportunity because so many people submitted their ideas to NASA, and we are a winner; others are not, and they will have to try again,” Taylor said. “We are extremely lucky to go through the entire selection process because at any point they could have decided to not continue analyzing our plans.” Taylor described the process of submitting a proposal to NASA up to being chosen. He said his team is “being examined at every single stage.” ... Taylor helped to build a team and write a proposal to NASA called the Atmospheric Waves Experiment mission. The current plan is to launch an imaging device known as the Advance Mesospheric Temperature Mapper into space to capture colorful bands of light in Earth’s atmosphere, known as “airglow.” “Everything is about getting more knowledge to plan for the future,” Taylor said. “One day when we have space planes, we need to be able to predict the atmosphere in space like we predict turbulence for planes today.” ... “This is significant because it is the first time that a program of this magnitude is being solely housed at USU,” PR Director Eric Warren said. “We have our lead (Taylor) and developer (SDL) both here in Logan.” ... “Ultimately, we want to know how our environment has an effect on the atmosphere in space,” Taylor said. “This mission allows us to get information we’ve never been able to obtain before. It establishes our ability to do this work.”

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