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CU Boulder sending two instruments to space this week

Posted at 8:24 AM, Dec 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-04 10:24:45-05

BOULDER, Colo. – Scientists at the University of Colorado Boulder have developed two space instruments that will measure light energy from the sun and they could be headed for space this week.

The instruments are part of a launch that's scheduled to take place on Friday.

The two instruments – a total irradiance monitor (TIM) and spectral irradiance monitor (SIM) -- are headed to the International Space Station. Scientists say the information they gather about energy from the sun can tell us a lot about life on Earth.

“This energy drives atmospheric motions, drives oceanic circulations, but it also drives all the chemical processes [and] biological processes,” said lead mission scientist Peter Pilewskie with CU Boulder’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics. “So everything comes from the sun, so that’s why that measurement is so fundamental.”

Once the instruments are on the ISS, they’ll be operated from CU Boulder’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics.