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Project Overview
[ISTP Face Logo] Since the 1980s, the collaborative efforts by NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Institute of Space and Astronuatical Science (ISAS) of Japan have led to the conception of the International Solar-Terrestrial Physics Science Initiative consisting of a set of solar-terrestrial missions to be carred out during the 1990s and into the next century.

This program combines resources and scientific communities on an international scale using a complement of several missions, along with complementary ground facilities and theoretical efforts, to obtain coordinated, simultaneous investigations of the Sun-Earth space environment over an extended period of time.

Primary Science Objectives The primary science objectives of the ISTP Science Initiative are as follows:
  • Determining structure and dynamics in the solar interior and their role in driving solar activity.
  • Identifying processes responsible for heating the solar corona and its acceleration outward as the solar wind.
  • Determining the flow of mass, momentum and energy through geospace.
  • Gaining a better understanding of the turbulent plasma phenomena that mediate the flow of energy through geospace.
  • Implementing a systematic approach to the development of the first global solar-terrestrial model, which will lead to a better understanding of the chain of cause-effect relationships that begins with solar activity and ends with the deposition of energy in the upper atmosphere.
Teamwork The ISTP Science Initiative uses simultaneous and closely coordinated measurements from GEOTAIL, WIND, POLAR, SOHO and Cluster. These measurements of the key regions of geospace will be supplemented by data from Equatorial missions and ground-based investigations. The Equatorial missions include: the Geosynchronous Operational Environmental Spacecraft ( GOES) Program of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Los Alamos National Laboratory ( LANL) spacecraft from the Department of Energy (DOE). The ground-based investigations include: Additional data from other satellites such as NASA's IMP-8 satellite are used to supplement the data from these missions.

These missions and investigations will provide a measurement network to determine the local state of several key magnetospheric regions. However, because the magnetosphere is a vast interactive system, a comprehensive understanding can be acheived only if local measurements can be related to large-scale structure observations.

The integration of theory and modeling with satellite and ground-based observations completes the ISTP Science Initiative.

Additional Information Spacecraft Status
Spacecraft and Instruments Summary
Ground Based Investigations Summary
ISTP Principal Investigator List
Who's Who


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