UCF physicist hopes project gets off ground with NASA

A University of Central Florida physicist and his team of space weather researchers are hoping to win a major NASA prize — a chance to launch their experiment into space.

Richard Eastes, a UCF professor and Merritt Island resident, said his team wants to attach a specialized camera, called an imaging spectograph, to a commercial satellite to help predict space weather. The data gathered could be used to prevent weather-related blackouts for cell phones and GPS units. It also might prove useful in drawing up commercial flight plans.

Eastes’ team and four other finalists each received a $250,000 grant to develop a concept study as they work toward the $55 million award through NASA’s Explorer Mission of Opportunity program. The winning team will need to have its project launch ready by 2016.

Read more about the project here.

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