CAPER-2 is the fifth sounding rocket to launch in the Grand Challenge Initiative.
CAPER is an abbreviation for “Cups Alfvèn and Plasma Electrodynamics Rocket” and is a mission to investigate dayside magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling. The vehicle flew through the cusp region of the Earth’s magnetic field, reaching an altitude of 774 kilometers.
CAPER-2 is the fifth sounding rocket to launch in the Grand Challenge Initiative – CUSP project, an international research project between Norway, USA, Canada and Japan, involving 12 sounding rockets launched from Andøya and Ny-Ålesund between 2018 and 2020 which will study the Earth’s cusp region in unprecedented detail. The basic idea behind the project is to gather scientists with individually funded sounding rocket projects investigating phenomena related to the magnetosphere and Earth’s cusp regions. All participants share the collected research data between them.
Principal investigator for CAPER-2 is professor James LaBelle from Dartmouth College.