Grand Challenge Initiative
The Grand Challenge Initiative (GCI) is a large-scale international collaboration effort targeting advancement in specific, fundamental issues in space and earth science.

The first GCI project – GCI Cusp – aims to determine the multi-scale physics of heating and charged particle precipitation in the ionosphere specific to the geomagnetic cusp region.
The GCI Cusp Project is designed to advance the common understanding of cusp region space physics through coordinated experimental and theoretical research using ground based instruments, modeling, sounding rocket investigations, and satellite based instruments.

International student participation through space plasma model development and a dedicated student rocket (G-CHASER) is an essential aspect of the GCI concept.
The formulation (and topic) of this initial GCI project followed the recognition of the tremendous increase in scientific return available from coordination of these independently initiated missions.

Additional sounding rocket missions from these agencies as well as other national agencies are under consideration to complement the current project and expand further the scale of international collaboration.
Points of Contact
For more information on this research initiative, please contact anyone of the individuals listed below
GCI around the web


GCI CUSP Infographic
Download a PDF with all the essential information

NASA will release a colorful gas into the air to see how solar winds cause the northern lights

NASA Joins International Science Team in Exploring Auroral Cusp from Norway

Eleven rockets set to reveal the mysteries in the Earth's atmosphere