CINDI Mission Educator Resources


The Coupled Ion Neutral Dynamics Investigation (CINDI) is a small NASA mission of opportunity studying space weather in Earth’s atmosphere. CINDI consists of two instruments built at the University of Texas at Dallas and is aboard the US Air Force’s Communication/Navigation Outage System satellite in low Earth orbit. We launched in April of 2008 and are currently in our extended mission.

We have resources for educators, students in grades 6 and up, and interested members of the general public, as well as news and information on our educational events.

The CINDI Education and Public Outreach program is part of a larger family of activities from NASA’s Heliophysics team. Together our science seeks to explain Big Questions involving Sun-Earth connections. 

Learn more about the CINDI mission in the CINDI fact sheet (PDF, currently available in English only)  

Introduction to Cindi in…Comics

The Cindi in… series of comic book resources are targeted at middle and high school students as a way to explain CINDI  in an easy to access and understand way. Young audiences automatically engage with the comic format before even realising they are learning something. These comics are fun and informative for readers of all ages, but the materials are targeted for topics covered at specific grade levels. 

The comics are intended as a highly accessible introduction to CINDI. Cindi, our Anime/Manga inspired personification of CINDI explains all about the CINDI mission and the science behind it.  These comics tell the story of the android spacegirl Cindi and her spacedogs who explain the purpose of the CINDI instruments as part of the C/NOFS mission and the science involved. These comics are fun and informative for readers of all ages, but the materials are targeted for topics covered at specific grade levels. 

Our comic books were the subject of a feature article on the NASA website in October 2010, where they interviewed Mary Urquhart and Marc Hairston about using comics.  Camilla SDO, the offical rubber chicken mascot of NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) runs a blog about space and she went up into orbit to interview Cindi herself. That full interview is also available on Camilla’s website. 

Permission is granted to print and distribute as many copies of these comic books as you wish (particularly teachers and schools who want to distribute copies to students) so long as the credits and copyright notice printed on the back cover are included. We are always interested in your comments and feedback about this book and whether you and your students did (or didn’t) like it. Please send any comments to Dr Marc Hairston and Dr Mary Urquhart.

Cindi in …Comics

The first comic is Cindi in Space and is aimed specifically at students in grades 6 to 9. Cindi in Space introduces the android spacegirl Cindi and her two space dogs. They explain the Earth’s upper atmosphere along with the purpose of the NASA CINDI instruments astudying the upper atmosphere as part of the C/NOFS satellite.

Cindi in the Electric Atmosphere, is targeted at high school students. Cindi takes the reader through the ionosphere, explaining the electromagnetic spectrum, the light from the Sun, and how the Sun’s radiation interacts with the Earth’s atmosphere to create the ionosphere. This is all done in the context of the CINDI instruments on the C/NOFS spacecraft.  This issue is targeted at upper middle school students and high school students studying physics and physical science, but reader of all ages and backgrounds will enjoy Cindi’s adventures.

 The first two issues are 24-page booklets that are downloaded as a pdf file via the links below. 

Cindi in the Solar Wind is the third book in the Cindi in… comic book series.  After three years of hard work in orbit, Cindi decided to take a vacation in September 2011. Original plans were to take her two space dogs, along with a new space dog named “Staar” on a trip to get some sun by flying very close to the sun!  But a large coronal mass ejection (CME) blew off the sun and she lost Staar.  So come follow Cindi as she chases Staar all the way to the edge of the solar system and learn a bit about the solar wind, planets, and their magnetospheres along the way.

This issue is aimed at high school and college school students, but we hope that readers of all ages will find it fun and informative. It is a 32-page booklet that can be downloaded using the link below.  

Cindi in Space,  English: [Color | Black & White] Spanish: [Spanish Color | Spanish Black & White

Cindi in the Electric Atmosphere, English: [Color] Spanish: [Spanish Color]

Cindi in the Solar Wind, English: [Color


Other CINDI Related Educator Resources 

Can be found at the CINDI Mission Page Educator Resources