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The National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) will embark on a suborbital mission to the stratosphere in collaboration with NASA, marking the first time the IPN has been involved in such a venture. The flight is scheduled to depart from Antarctica at the end of December and January, with an experimental module aboard a ship departing from McMurdo Base.

Leading the project is Mario Alberto Mendoza Bárcenas, a researcher at the Aerospace Development Center (CDA) of the IPN. The special mission FY25 with Emidds-6 will involve a trajectory of one revolution around the Earth in 15 days using super-pressure balloons. One of the main objectives is to develop instrumentation that can identify contaminants, such as microplastics, in the stratosphere and capture images related to altitude during the ascent of the platform to its maximum floating point.

The unique atmospheric circulation pattern over Antarctica allows for a constant altitude for a longer period, enabling Emidss-6 to collect and store data to characterize the stratospheric environment in low latitudes using Mexican aerospace technology. The module will record environmental variables through sensors monitoring humidity, temperature, relative humidity, and ultraviolet radiation with commercial-grade devices.

In July, Emidss-6 underwent strict technical and electromagnetic compatibility evaluations by NASA experts to ensure it met standards. The mission’s team consisted of experts from various institutions, including IPN, Institutes of Applied Sciences and Technology and Engineering at National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Western Institute of Technology and Higher Studies (ITESM), Molina Center for Energy and Environment (CEEM), among others.

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