NASA has chosen five Medium-Class Explorer proposals for concept studies of new space environment missions.

The missions will increase understanding of the Sun’s dynamics, its interaction with the space and around Earth.

These studies will provide information to help protect astronauts, satellites, and communications signals such as GPS – in space.

The selected proposals are Solar-Terrestrial Observer for the Response of the Magnetosphere (STORM), HelioSwarm: The Nature of Turbulence in Space Plasmas, Multi-slit Solar Explorer (MUSE), Auroral Reconstruction CubeSwarm (ARCS), and Solaris: Revealing the Mysteries of the Sun’s Poles.

The proposals will receive $1.25m each and the studies will be carried out for nine months.

NASA will select up to two proposals to go ahead with the launch. They have separate launch opportunity and timeframe.

NASA Washington science mission directorate associate administrator Thomas Zurbuchen said: “We constantly seek missions that use cutting edge technology and novel approaches to push the boundaries of science.

“Each one of these proposals offers the chance to observe something we have never before seen or to provide unprecedented insights into key areas of research, all to further the exploration of the universe we live in.”

The selected missions for flight will be funded by NASA’s Heliophysics Explorers’ programme.

In June this year, NASA awarded the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Space Weather contract to spacecraft components manufacturer Ball Aerospace, for the Space Weather Follow On-Lagrange 1 (SWFO-L1) spacecraft.