June 21, 2024

IPN’s First Suborbital Mission to Stratosphere: Using Mexican Aerospace Technology to Study Microplastics in Low Latitudes

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IPN to Join NASA Mission with Experimental Ship in Stratosphere

In December and January, the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) will embark on its first suborbital mission to the stratosphere in collaboration with NASA and the United States National Science Foundation. Led by researcher Mario Alberto Mendoza Bárcenas at the Aerospace Development Center (CDA) of IPN, the mission will utilize super-pressure balloons (SPB) to identify contaminants, specifically microplastics, in the stratosphere.

The Emidds-6 module will be on a special trajectory FY25 that allows for image capture and environmental data collection during its flight to its maximum floating point. The presence of a persistent high-pressure system known as the polar vortex over Antarctica enables the module to maintain a constant altitude for an extended period, allowing for valuable data collection.

In July, the Emidds-6 module underwent technical and electromagnetic compatibility evaluations by NASA experts to ensure compliance with standards. The mission involved experts from IPN, as well as other institutions such as the Institutes of Applied Sciences and Technology and Engineering at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, Western Institute of Technology and Higher Studies, and the Molina Center for Energy and Environment.

Overall, this mission focuses on characterizing the stratospheric environment in low latitudes using Mexican aerospace technology. IPN’s participation in this cutting-edge research positions it as a key player in scientific exploration.

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