Budget has always been a major factor in any kind of innovation or in space program throughout the world. Nasa has taken a confident approach in deciding that from now they are not going to innovate on novel ideas instead they will do the invention based on the funds allocation. The best example for this is Nasa’s 4 pioneer projects namely Aspera, Pandora, StarBurst, and PEUO which are targeted for early researchers with budget for each mission is $20 million.
The first project is known as Aspera in which it studies intergalactic medium or say space between the galaxies with the help of ultraviolet light. What it will do is it will check if there might be hot gas in the space or not, and if it does it will interact with the universe. Here Aspera will help in sorting the collected data through the clouds in the space.
The second project is known as Pandora which mainly concentrates on monitoring the variations in measurements of exoplanets and their stars. It takes an in-depth examination or analysis of 39 exoplanets and their 20 stars hoping to disengage the stars and their atmospheres. Now with this kind of analysis provides the data that are very helpful in searching the habitable exoplanets and also examining this kind of planetary atmosphere is the best way to discover whether an exoplanet is habitable or not.
Moving ahead the third project is known as StarBurst which will observe the high energy gamma rays in the space from events like merger of neutron stars. With facilities such as LIGO it would be easy to detect the gravity waves that occurs when the merger event got synchronized. Daniel Kocevski of NASA Marshall Space Flight Center tells that he is expecting to capture 10 such events in a year but till now only one has captured.
The last and the fourth mission is known as PUEO (Payload for Ultrahigh Energy Observations) is still undergoing further observations. It doesn’t need a satellite for the mission as it aims for balloon launched mission. The main goal of PUEO is to recognize the ultra-high energy neutrinos that are created by newly formed black holes or by merger of neutron stars.
In a recent press release Nasa have cleared that these four projects are not ready for its launch as it requires a year to assess its worthiness for its launch. Another factor is that it should match the budget constraints of the Pioneers program. Researchers have using number of unique and easily available hardware for CubeSats and other small satellites that are not even used few years ago. These commercially available and unique hardware is the reason why Nasa thought it would be good time for this Pioneers projects.