NASA's Polarimeter to Unify the Corona and Heliosphere (PUNCH) mission will share a ride to space with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory's SPHEREx mission.
The missions will launch no earlier than April 2025 on a SpaceX Falcon 9.
PUNCH, which consists of four suitcase-sized satellites, will focus on the sun's outer atmosphere (the corona) and how it generates the solar wind.
The spacecraft also will track coronal mass ejections and large eruptions of solar material that can drive large space weather events near Earth to better understand their evolution.
The four satellites will spread out around Earth along the day-night line, which enables it to create a continuous, complete, view of the corona and inner solar system.
Three of the PUNCH satellites will carry identical Wide Field Imagers, which together image the corona and solar wind over a 90-degree field of view (45 degrees far from the sun).
In skywatching terms, 90 degrees covers the part of the sky from the horizon to the point directly overhead.
The fourth PUNCH satellite carries a Narrow Field Imager coronagraph, which will study regions closest to the sun.
All four cameras will be synchronized in flight, so that the mission science team can combine their images seamlessly into a single large field of view.
The PUNCH mission is managed by Explorers Program Office at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.