The Polarimeter to Unify the Corona and Heliosphere (PUNCH) mission has entered Phase B, which
marks the transition from concept study to preliminary flight design. The mission, led by
Southwest Research Institute, is set to launch in early 2023 and will image the Sun’s outer
corona and beyond.
NASA selected SwRI in June 2019 to lead the PUNCH mission. PUNCH consists of four microsatellites
the size of suitcases that will orbit the Earth in formation to study how the Sun’s atmosphere,
or corona, connects with the interplanetary medium, and to provide the first global images of
how the solar corona infuses the solar wind with mass and energy.