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The Star-Planet Activity Research CubeSat (SPARCS) is a small space telescope about the size and shape of a family-size Cheerios box.
It is built of six cubical units, each about four inches on a side. These are joined to make a spacecraft two units wide by three long in what is termed a 6U spacecraft; solar power panels extend like wings from one end.
The mission which SPARCS will undertake is monitoring the flares and sunspot activity of M-type stars, also called red dwarfs, in the far- and near-ultraviolet. The purpose of this is to assess how habitable the space environment is for planets orbiting them.
Postdoctoral Research Associate