NASA hasÂ launched the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory-built Balloon Observation Platform for Planetary Science into space in order to study solar system objects.
The spacecraft took off from the Fort Sumner, New Mexico-basedÂ NASA Columbia Scientific Balloon Research Facility on Thursday and will work toÂ detect organic elements on objects in the solar system,Â NASA said Thursday.
BOPPS to survey an Oort cloud comet, asteroidsÂ Ceres and Vesta, andÂ Neptune and Uranus,
â€œWe will be able to observe frozen volatiles on comets and asteroids in ways that can help us answer some of the biggest questions we face about how our solar system formed,” saidÂ Andy Cheng,Â BOPPS principal investigator of Johns Hopkins APL.
BOPPS features aÂ telescope, an infrared camera and a combinedÂ ultraviolet/visible camera to observe planetary objects.