Once there, IMAP will use its 10 instruments to collect and monitor particles from outside the solar system. The nature of the heliosphere, including its shape, could help determine how cosmic radiation manages to make it into our solar system. By studying what makes it through, researchers hope they can get a better idea of what that barrier is like. They're also interested in cosmic radiation for another reason: As humans spend more time in space and send more spacecraft beyond our planet, both the people and tech we send out into the solar system are exposed to increased levels of cosmic radiation. Researchers would like to know more about how this radiation could affect our systems, whether biological or technological.