Southwest Research Institute

NASA

"We're not the one with the monkeys," goes the joke from Southwest Research Institute staff when talking to stakeholders or describing themselves to San Antonians.

They are distinguishing themselves from the Texas Biomedical Research Institute, the other prominent independent research organization on a patch of land near Interstate 410 and Culebra. 

Southwest Research Institute

This week, Southwest Research Institute announced it had been awarded $1.25 million contract for a study of a potential mission investigating the Sun's corona. 

NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute / http://bit.ly/2t9FoZs

NASA's New Horizons probe flew past Pluto two years ago, documenting our Solar System's former ninth planet, but the mission always intended to go farther.

Though New Horizons launched in 2006, NASA and San-Antonio based Southwest Research Institute didn't know where the probe would explore after its primary mission to Pluto.

In 2014, scientists settled on Kuiper belt asteroid MU69. Only now are they figuring out exactly the best route and how big the icy rock is.

Courtesy of NASA

Tuesday Morning, a little after 1 a.m., NASA's Cassini mission begins its third dive between Saturn and the planet's rings. As the long-operating probe continues its so-called Grand Finale, San Antonio scientists will be poring over the data.

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