NASA has funded a team of researchers from MIT who want to deploy a series of static satellites. They plan to arrange them at different points on the edge of the solar system. They will be held in place by the solar wind – for this device will be equipped with sails made of thin material that reflect the particles of the star.
So satellites will be able to monitor how interstellar objects (ISO) increase in a certain area of space. At this point, the ship will automatically fold the sails and head towards the object under the influence of gravity. After that, a nanosatellite will enter the asteroid’s orbit, the sensors of which will collect the information necessary for researchers.
This method will also allow scientists on Earth to more accurately tune into and observe interstellar objects. “There are many fundamental problems with observation – objects are usually so small that light from the Sun should illuminate them in a certain way so that our telescopes can at least detect them,” the researchers note.
The development of the mission will be carried out in three stages – it will last 9 months. Researchers note that if they succeed, then astronomers will cease to be passive observers and study interstellar objects in more detail.