STELLA Science for Interstellar Probe

Robert F. Wimmer-Schweingruber*, Stas Barabash, Nicolas André, Pontus C. Brandt, Luciano Iess, Benoit Lavraud, Ralph McNutt, Elena Provornikova, Eric Quemerais, Robert Wicks, Martin Wieser, Peter Wurz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

Abstract

Stella is a proposed European contribution to NASA's Interstellar Probe (ISP), a large-strategic mission candidate. Traveling at a speed of 7 au/year ISP will reach 350 au during its nominal 50-year life-time. ISP's main goal is to understand our habitable astrosphere and its home in the galaxy. Stella contributes to achieving the ISP goal by answering five Stella-specific science questions: • Q1: What is the composition of the local interstellar medium? • Q2: How is our dynamical heliosphere upheld and how does it change from the Sun to the local interstellar medium? • Q3: What is the origin and role of galactic cosmic rays in the solar system and beyond? • Q4: How does the local interstellar medium become structured when it meets the heliosphere? • Q5: Are there any deviations from the 1/r gravity law on the interstellar scale? Stella assumes a model European ISP payload: a neutral gas mass spectrometer, plasma package, cosmic ray spectrometer, UV spectrograph, and radio science (utilizing the S/C radio for the fundamental physics question). We will review the science case for this potential European payload complement.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberx73530
JournalProceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC
Volume2022-September
Publication statusPublished - 18 Sept 2022
Event73rd International Astronautical Congress, IAC 2022 - Paris, France
Duration: 18 Sept 202222 Sept 2022

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