NASA has a plan to spot space dust from the air, and it involves tracking a space station.
NASA’s Space Dust Monitoring Station, or SDSM, is a small satellite designed to spot atmospheric space dust, including the dust that is created by spacecraft, rocket motors and other sources.
“It’s the closest thing to a ‘pipeline’ to detect space dust in the atmosphere,” NASA officials said in a statement.
The station, which is slated to launch in 2019, will measure and record air samples from the International Space Station (ISS), a sprawling space station designed to house astronauts for five years.
When the station is ready, it will send the data back to the ground.
The data will allow NASA scientists to monitor air quality and determine if there are any space dust clouds, officials said.
“We will be able to monitor the air quality across a large area of the space station, from a distance of about 15 kilometers, so we will be doing things like determining the temperature and composition of the air,” said Dan Breen, deputy director of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, which manages the mission.
“The SDSI mission is a huge step forward in the evolution of this technology.”
The mission has been a long time coming, though, with NASA spending $100 million in the past few years to develop the technology.
The agency originally launched the SDSP in December 2011 to track the health of the International Scientific Space Station.
SDSMs are designed to be inexpensive, lightweight and can stay in space for years without any human intervention.
They can also be used to track spacecraft and their cargo, and are ideal for capturing the space dust that can damage satellites and spacecraft.
“Space dust is a very complex and unpredictable problem,” said Scott Pace, an astrophysicist at the University of Maryland who has been working on the SDP project.
“You want to be able on the ground to track it and track it reliably, but you also need to be confident in that tracking, because it can be very, very dangerous if you don’t have an accurate measurement of where it is.”
NASA has already launched satellites that have been used to collect space dust samples, and SDSMS will allow them to do the same with the space shuttle, Pace said.
That will help NASA scientists track space dust on the shuttle.
The space station is also designed to support a crew of six astronauts.
But space station missions have been plagued by space station mishaps, which have damaged satellites, damaged astronauts’ equipment and left some astronauts with health issues.
Pace said the SDFM will be much safer than the shuttle because it will be in space with the crew and not in orbit with them.
The SDSS mission was developed by NASA and Boeing, the makers of the Space Shuttle, and Boeing is the primary contractor for the mission, which NASA says is expected to launch with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.
NASA hopes the space-based SDSm will help scientists better understand the role that space dust plays in the formation of space dust.