CfA astrophysicist Justin Kasper has been honored with the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers for their innovative research and scientific leadership. It is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.
Kasper was recognized for his work with Solar Probe Plus - the first mission to the sun, scheduled for 2018. Kasper's creation, SWEAP (Solar Wind Electrons Alphas and Protons) is one of the four instrument packages that will be on the spacecraft; it will help scientists learn how the sun's corona, or outer atmosphere, is heated and how the solar wind is accelerated to supersonic speeds.
"By flying a spacecraft through the upper atmosphere of the sun we will expose the fundamental physics responsible for the million-degree corona and help understand and forecast space weather," said Kasper. "I'm honored to have received this recognition and encouragement to pursue the mysteries of
The full list of recipients is online.