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PUNCH has passed its Critical Design Review, a major milestone in the course of the mission. The three-day design review was a hybrid meeting, held in person at SwRI headquarters in San Antonio, TX, March 1-3. The team presented current mission design, and fabrication, integration, and test plans, to representatives from NASA and from the mission’s independent Standing Review Board. This was the first mission milestone meeting to be held in-person, since the initial Phase B kickoff meeting held in 2019 immediately after selection.
PUNCH science and outreach development continues, with presentations at the Fall 2021 AGU. PDFs of posters are available on the PUNCH publications / presentation page, and videos of talks on the PUNCH Youtube Playlist.
The PUNCH 2 Science Meeting took place August 9-11, 2021. If you missed the talks, or just want to see them again, they are available via a Youtube Playlist, and also through the workshop agenda with time-stamped access to specific talks.
If you are a research scientist, educator, science writer, or other communicator of Sun-related science, heliophysics, or space weather to non-specialist audiences, please complete this survey. The survey results will have a powerful influence on the development of PUNCH Outreach products, PUNCH News Items, and any other efforts in the communication of our science. Your responses will validate our selection of an appropriate set of misunderstandings to include in a product that will provide proven strategies for addressing each misunderstanding.
NASA has funded a five-year outreach program in association with the Polarimeter to UNify the Corona and Heliosphere (PUNCH), a solar mission led by Southwest Research Institute (SwRI). The PUNCH Outreach Program, also led by SwRI, is collaborating with five planetariums and science centers in four states, plus other multicultural partners in the southwestern United States.
PUNCH has passed its Key Decision Point C, and has been confirmed as a “GO” for development and flight. The decision was made in a hybrid in-person & remote meeting at NASA Headquarters between project management, the Explorers Program, the Mission Directorate, the joints heads of the Science Divisions, and the Associate Administrator for Science. The mission is transitioning to a merged Phase C (Final Design) and Phase D (Assembly, Integration, & Test). PUNCH Phase C/D continues through launch plus 90 days. More details will be posted shortly.
The PUNCH mission consists of four spacecraft in Earth orbit that together will be uniquely capable of imaging the space environment from the outer corona of the Sun all the way to Earth orbit. There is a Near Field Imager and three Wide Field Imagers (WFIs).