IPN to Join NASA Mission with Experimental Ship in Stratosphere

Mexico and NASA Collaborate on Groundbreaking Stratospheric Research Mission with Emidds-6

The National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) is set to participate in a suborbital mission to the stratosphere with the Emidds-6 (Experimental Module for the Iterative Design of Satellite Subsystems version 6), in collaboration with NASA. This marks the first time the IPN will be involved in such a mission, with the flight scheduled to depart from Antarctica at the end of December and January.

Invited by NASA and the United States National Science Foundation, the IPN will join the mission with its experimental module aboard a ship departing from McMurdo Base in Antarctica. Mario Alberto Mendoza Bárcenas, a researcher at the Aerospace Development Center (CDA) of the IPN, is leading the project and explained that one of the objectives of this special mission FY25 with Emidss-6 is to develop instrumentation to identify contaminants, such as microplastics, in the stratosphere and capture images related to altitude during the ascent of the platform to its maximum floating point.

The unique atmospheric circulation pattern over Antarctica allows for a constant altitude for a longer period, enabling Mexican aerospace technology to collect and store data on stratospheric environment characterization in low latitudes. The module will record environmental variables through sensors monitoring humidity, temperature, relative humidity, and ultraviolet radiation with commercial-grade devices.

In July, NASA experts conducted strict technical and electromagnetic compatibility evaluations on Emidss-6 payload to ensure it meets standards. The mission team will consist of experts from IPN, as well as other institutions including Institutes of Applied Sciences and Technology and Engineering at National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Western Institute of Technology and Higher Studies (ITESM), Western Institute for Energy Materials Science Technology & Research (WETSTRI), UNAM’s Molina Center for Energy and Environment.

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