Mexico’s National Polytechnic Institute to Launch First Suborbital Mission to Study Microplastics in Stratosphere”.

IPN to Join NASA Mission with Experimental Ship in Stratosphere

The National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) is set to participate in its first suborbital mission to the stratosphere with the Emidds-6 (Experimental Module for the Iterative Design of Satellite Subsystems version 6). This mission will be carried out in collaboration with NASA and the United States National Science Foundation, and will depart from Antarctica.

Led by Mario Alberto Mendoza Bárcenas, a researcher at the Aerospace Development Center (CDA) of IPN, the Emidss-6 module will be on a special mission FY25 trajectory aboard super-pressure balloons (SPB). This trajectory will allow for the identification of contaminants, specifically microplastics in the stratosphere, through image capture and environmental data collection during the balloon’s flight to its maximum floating point.

Due to the presence of a persistent high-pressure system known as the polar vortex over Antarctica, the Emidds-6 module will be able to maintain a constant altitude for an extended period, allowing for the collection of valuable data. The module will record environmental variables using sensors to measure humidity, temperature, relative humidity, and ultraviolet radiation.

The mission is scheduled for December and January 2023, departing from McMurdo Base on Ross Island near New Zealand. In July 2023, experts from IPN and other institutions will undergo technical and electromagnetic compatibility evaluations by NASA experts to ensure compliance with standards.

Overall, this mission represents an important step forward for Mexican aerospace technology and positions IPN as a key player in cutting-edge research and scientific exploration.

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