Project Meteor (Project Meteor) - 07.29.14
ISS Science for Everyone
Science Objectives for Everyone
Project Meteor's mission objective is to fly a visible spectroscopy instrument to the ISS NL for the primary purpose of observing meteors in Earth Orbit. It is anticipated that Project Meteor will conduct operations for approximately 2 years from the date that on orbit operations commence. SwRI will serve as the U.S. Host and will conduct this experiment on behalf of Chiba Institute of Technology, which is based in Japan.
Science Results for Everyone
Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
National Laboratory (NL)
ISS Expedition Duration
Previous ISS Missions
Ballistic Missile and Defense Organization (BMDO) Midcourse Space Experiment (MSX) Ultraviolet and Visible Imaging and Spectrographic Imaging (UVISI) instrument
- Meteor spectra are commonly observed from the ground or aircraft by instruments pointing at the sky during a reliably known meteor shower. Meteors cross the field of view of the observer’s instrument and are recorded either photographically or electronically. Spectral measurements are made by a spectrograph, which records all wavelengths instantaneously. Investigators can then determine elemental abundances and temperatures by comparing known synthetic spectra to observed spectra. These ground or aircraft measurements however are limited to very short periods of observation time and small portions of the Earth’s atmosphere. Additionally, ground and aircraft based meteor observations are limited by ozone absorption in the terrestrial atmosphere. This absorption masks the important “organic” carbon spectral emission. Satellite detectors can overcome these limits. Project Meteor will provide a continuous monitor of meteor interaction with the Earth’s atmosphere without limitations of the ozone absorption. The resultant data will be the first measurement of meteor flux and will allow for monitoring of carbon-based compounds. Investigation of meteor elemental composition is important to our understanding of how the planets developed.