Living with a star LWS Logo

The current insignia.

Living With a Star (LWS) is a NASA scientific program to study those aspects of the connected Sun-Earth system that directly affect life and society. LWS is a crosscutting initiative with goals and objectives relevant to NASA's Exploration Initiative, as well as to NASA's Strategic Enterprises. The program is managed by the Heliophysics Division of NASA's Science Mission Directorate.

LWS is composed of three major components: Scientific investigations on spaceflight platforms study different regions of the Sun, interplanetary space, and geospace; an applied science program Space Environment Testbeds where protocols and components are tested; and a Targeted Research and Technology Program.

Spaceflight SegmentEdit

The first two science missions have launched: Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) and Van Allen Probes. The SDO mission launched on February 11, 2010 and the Van Allen Probes mission launched on August 30, 2012. BARREL (Balloon Array for RBSP Relativistic Electron Losses) and Space Environment Testbeds (SET) are currently in development. Solar Orbiter Collaboration (SOC) and Solar Probe Plus (SPP) are in the formulation phase.[1]

Van Allen Probes Logo

The Van Allen Probes.

Solar Dynamics Observatory

The Solar Dynamics Observatory.

Science requirements and conceptual mission implementation have been defined for the Ionosphere-Thermosphere Storm Probes (ITSP) and the Solar Sentinels.

Space Environment TestbedsEdit

SET uses existing data and new data from low-cost SET missions to achieve the following: Define the mechanisms for induced space environment and effects; reduce uncertainties in the definitions of the induced environment and effects on spacecraft and their payloads; and to improve design and operations guidelines and test protocols so that spacecraft anomalies and failures due to environmental effects during operations are reduced.

Targeted Research and Technology (TR&T)Edit

With the 2001 inception of the LWS Program, new opportunities were created for a systematic, goal-oriented research program targeting those aspects of the Sun-Earth system that affect life and society. To provide immediate progress toward achieving the LWS goals, the Targeted Research and Technology (TR&T) component of the program was developed. The TR&T element has solicited five rounds of proposals seeking quantitative understanding and predictive capability throughout the system. TR&T has funded independent research awards, focused science topic panels, and strategic capability challenges to enable a cross-disciplinary, integrated, system-wide understanding of how the Sun varies, and how Earth and planets respond. The focused science topic panels are a novel approach to collaborative science, and initial results appear promising.


The following are missions that are currently being undertaken, or are being planned by the Living With a Star program.[2][3]


  1. Living With a Star Program Missions
  2. Living With a Star - NASA Science
  3. NASA - Living With a Star Program

External linksEdit

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