New Mexico Space Grant Consortium (NMSGC) at New Mexico State University (NMSU) will be tracking the August 21st Solar Eclipse along with 54 teams from 31 state consortia who are members of the NASA National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program.
The consortia are tracking the total solar eclipse from multiple locations across the solar eclipse path as it crosses North America. The university experiments will be launched using up to 60 high altitude balloons (HAB). The individual HAB balloons will follow the eclipse with onboard tracking devices to capture real time images on video and in photographs. The Space Grant members are the only group of universities whose experiments will be streaming live video and images from near space to the NASA sponsored website (stream.live/eclipse).
The New Mexico team will launch their balloon from the Homestead National Monument of America in Beatrice, Nebraska. Video and images of a total eclipse near space have never been done live and never in a network of coverage across the United States. These active research experiments provide multi-disciplinary teams research experience and data analysis opportunities of value to the global science community.
In addition to Eclipse tracking, NMSGC will be flying a heat exchange experiment for use in space craft. This technology will be launched with our Solar Eclipse experiment.
The design, being developed at NMSU, will improve thermal absorption of propellants and removing heat to space. The optimization of the system will contribute to fuel efficiency in spacecrafts, thus contributing to making long-duration space travel more profitable of commercial and government customers.