Shaheen Announces $2.5 Million for UNH & Dartmouth Space Research Proposals Through Competitive NASA Program

August 29, 2020

(Manchester, NH) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), the Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), announced that NASA has selected proposals from the University of New Hampshire (UNH) and Dartmouth College to help improve understanding of the Sun’s interaction with the constantly changing space environment around Earth. Both schools will receive $1.25 million from NASA’s Heliophysics Explorers’ program to conduct a nine-month mission concept study, after which NASA will choose up to two out of five total proposals to implement. The results of the studies will help bolster our understanding of the universe and help protect astronauts, satellites and communications signals, such as GPS, in space.

“These awards boost New Hampshire’s stature as a leader in scientific knowledge and research and makes us all tremendously proud,” said Shaheen. “Congratulations to the teams at the University of New Hampshire and Dartmouth College for earning this important opportunity to further our understanding of the universe. I’m excited to see the progress that will be made through these proposals. I’ll continue to fight for funding that unleashes the groundbreaking potential of Granite State academic institutions, cements our nation’s position as the global leader in space exploration and puts humanity one step closer to realizing its dream of exploring the cosmos.”

“I am utterly delighted with today’s selection and feel so privileged to lead such an incredible team of scientists, engineers and managers. The HelioSwarm mission concept will explore the mystery of plasma turbulence, one of the fundamental, yet poorly understood, building blocks of how our Sun affects the solar system, and, by extension, how stars influence their environments. This mission will build upon UNH’s strengths and we look forward to continuing to lead on efforts to help the world understand the Sun’s impact our our lives and the universe,” said Harlan Spence, Director of the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space at the University of New Hampshire.

“We are delighted by the success of the Dartmouth-UNH collaboration led by Professor Kristina Lynch. It is fitting that a Granite State team has been selected to explore the beautiful complexity of the northern lights, which also encode important information about the solar winds that surround our planet. The mission uses state-of-the-art technology and builds on decades of expertise. It relies on, and also supports, our high-tech NH workforce,” said Dean Madden, Vice Provost for Research for Dartmouth College.

The proposals can be read in full here.

New Hampshire is a national leader in advanced scientific research, development and manufacturing. Earlier this summer, Shaheen hosted a virtual roundtable with NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine to highlight contracting opportunities for Granite State small businesses to support NASA’s ongoing space exploration technology research efforts and the Artemis program, which aims to land the next humans on the Moon. Last year, Bridenstine joined Shaheen in visits to UNH’s Space Science Center and Mikrolar, a contractor for NASA. The events came on the heels of UNH’s selection by NASA for a highly-competitive $107.9 million contract award through the Earth Venture program.