On June 1, 2018 The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced that IMAP will be its fifth mission in its Solar Terrestrial Probes Programto help study the heliosphere, the bubble-like structure encircling our solar system. The IMAP science mission intends to uncover the mysteries surrounding how the heliosphere interacts with the interstellar space and the continuous stream of charged particles ejected from the sun that permeates our solar system known as the solar wind. NASA hopes that researchers on the IMAP team will be able to collect and analyze the particles that make it through the heliosphere, which acts as a protective boundary to our solar system, keeping out plasma particles and other harmful cosmic rays.
David McComas, Professor of Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton University and vice president for the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, has been selected as the principal investigator of the IMAP science mission. Domestic and international collaborators will supply science instruments that will travel approximately one million miles away from the Earth so that IMAP can collect data from the distant solar system. The full story can be read here.