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Approaching the Sun

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Artist’s concept of the Parker Solar Probe spacecraft approaching the sun. Launching in 2018, Parker Solar Probe will provide new data on solar activity and make critical contributions to our ability to forecast major space-weather events that impact life on Earth.

Leaving Earth

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Artist’s concept of the Parker Solar Probe spacecraft approaching the sun. Launching in 2018, Parker Solar Probe will provide new data on solar activity and make critical contributions to our ability to forecast major space-weather events that impact life on Earth.

Approaching the Sun

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Credit: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

Artist’s concept of the Parker Solar Probe spacecraft approaching the sun. At closest approach, Parker Solar Probe will be hurtling around the sun at approximately 430,000 miles per hour! That's fast enough to get from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C., in one second. Closest approach will be 3.83 million miles.

Approaching the Sun

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Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Steve Gribben

Artist’s concept of the Parker Solar Probe spacecraft approaching the sun. Launching in 2018, Parker Solar Probe will provide new data on solar activity and make critical contributions to our ability to forecast major space-weather events that impact life on Earth.

Approaching the Sun

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Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Steve Gribben

Artist’s concept of the Parker Solar Probe spacecraft approaching the sun. In order to unlock the mysteries of the corona, but also to protect a society that is increasingly dependent on technology from the threats of space weather, we will send Parker Solar Probe to touch the sun.

Parker Solar Probe Logo

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Parker Solar Probe Logo

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Parker Solar Probe Completes Space Environment Testing

Members of the Parker Solar Probe team prepare the spacecraft to be lifted from the Space Environment Simulator at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, where the spacecraft has spent more than nine weeks undergoing successful testing. These tests ensure that the mission will operate as planned during its seven-year long exploration of the Sun.

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Parker Solar Probe Completes Space Environment Testing

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is carefully lifted from the Space Environment Simulator at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The probe has spent more than nine weeks undergoing space simulation testing, undergoing hot and cold cycling tests that mimic the temperatures the spacecraft will experience during its seven-year long exploration of the Sun.

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Parker Solar Probe Completes Space Environment Testing

The Parker Solar Probe is shown as is it lifted out of the Space Environment Simulator at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The spacecraft has more than nine weeks undergoing space simulation testing in a thermal vacuum chamber. After about seven more days of testing, the probe will travel to Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, on track for a scheduled launch on July 31.

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Parker Solar Probe Completes Space Environment Testing

Members of the Parker Solar Probe team from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab in Laurel, Maryland monitor the progress of the spacecraft as it is lifted from the Space Environment Simulator at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland and lowered to the custom platform visible in the foreground. The spacecraft has spent more than nine weeks undergoing space simulation testing in a thermal vacuum chamber.

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Parker Solar Probe Completes Space Environment Testing

Members of the Parker Solar Probe team from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center teams carefully lower the spacecraft onto a specially built platform. The probe has spent more than nine weeks undergoing space simulation testing, undergoing hot and cold cycling tests that mimic the temperatures the spacecraft will experience during its seven-year long exploration of the Sun.

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Parker Solar Probe Completes Space Environment Testing

Parker Solar Probe team members connect the spacecraft to a specially built platform after removing the probe from the Space Environment Simulator at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The probe will undergo about seven more days of testing, then travel to Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, on track for a scheduled launch on July 31.

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Parker Solar Probe Completes Space Environment Testing

NASA's Parker Solar Probe is wheeled into a clean room at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, having successfully completed thermal vacuum chamber testing that verified the spacecraft is ready for operations in space. The probe will undergo about seven more days of testing, then travel to Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, on track for a scheduled launch on July 31.

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Thermal Protection System APL to GSC 2 of 6

Thermal Protection System move

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Thermal Protection System APL to GSFC 1 of 6

TPS move

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Thermal Protection System APL to GSC 3 of 6

Thermal Protection System being installed in shipping container

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TPS APL to GSFC 4 of 6

Thermal Protection System being placed large thermal vacuum chamber at GSFC

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Thermal Protection System APL to GSFC 5 of 6

Thermal Protection System being installed in the large vacuum chamber at GSFC

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Thermal Protection System APL to GSFC 6 of 6

Thermal Protection System installed in the large vacuum chamber at GSFC

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MultimediaNews Article Images

2018-07-18 17:00:38

Parker Solar Probe, as seen in a cleanroom at Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Florida on July 6, 2018

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-07-05 12:44:33

Parker Solar Probe’s heat shield is made of two panels of superheated carbon-carbon composite sandwiching a lightweight 4.5-inch-thick carbon foam core. To reflect as much of the Sun’s energy away from the spacecraft as possible, the Sun-facing side of the heat shield is also sprayed with a specially formulated white coating.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-07-05 12:44:33

Parker Solar Probe’s heat shield, called the Thermal Protection System, is lifted and realigned with the spacecraft’s truss as engineers from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab prepare to install the eight-foot-diameter heat shield on July 27, 2018.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-07-05 12:44:33

The Thermal Protection System connects to the custom-welded truss on the Parker Solar Probe spacecraft at six points to minimize heat conduction.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-06-15 15:21:37

Parker Solar Probe

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Steve Gribben

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2018-06-06 15:15:31

Members of the Parker Solar Probe team examine and align one of the two solar arrays that will power the spacecraft during its seven-year mission to the Sun. The solar arrays are cooled by a gallon of water that circulates through small tubes in the arrays and into large radiators at the top of the spacecraft.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-06-06 15:15:31

A member of the Parker Solar Probe team examines one of the spacecraft’s two solar arrays that will power the spacecraft during its seven-year mission to the Sun. The solar arrays are cooled by a gallon of water that circulates through small tubes in the arrays and into large radiators, visible at the top of the spacecraft.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-06-06 15:15:31

One of the two solar arrays that will power the Parker Solar Probe spacecraft during its seven-year mission to the Sun. The solar arrays are cooled by a gallon of water that circulates through tubes in the arrays and into large radiators, visible at the top of the spacecraft.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-06-06 15:15:31

After installation of the solar arrays on May 31, 2018, Parker Solar Probe team members use a laser to illuminate the solar cells and verify that they can create electricity and transfer it to the spacecraft.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-06-06 15:15:31

After installation of the solar arrays on May 31, 2018, Parker Solar Probe team members use a laser to illuminate the solar cells and verify that they can create electricity and transfer it to the spacecraft.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-05-21 11:15:59

A Parker Solar Probe team member from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory holds the memory card containing 1,137,202 names submitted by the public to travel to the Sun aboard the spacecraft. The card was installed on a plaque which was placed on the spacecraft on May 18, 2018, at Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Florida. The plaque dedicated the mission to Eugene Parker, who first theorized the existence of the solar wind. Parker Solar Probe is the first NASA mission to be named for a living person.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-05-21 11:15:59

A plaque dedicating NASA’s Parker Solar Probe mission to its namesake, Eugene Parker, who first theorized the existence of the solar wind, was installed onto the spacecraft on May 18, 2018, at Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Florida. The memory card at bottom of the plaque contains 1,137,202 names submitted by the public to travel to the Sun aboard the spacecraft, along with photos of Parker and a copy of his groundbreaking 1958 scientific paper. Parker Solar Probe is the first NASA mission to be named for a living person.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-05-21 11:15:59

A plaque dedicating NASA’s Parker Solar Probe mission to its namesake, Eugene Parker, who first theorized the existence of the solar wind, was installed onto the spacecraft on May 18, 2018, at Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Florida. The memory card at bottom of the plaque contains 1,137,202 names submitted by the public to travel to the Sun aboard the spacecraft, along with photos of Parker and a copy of his groundbreaking 1958 scientific paper. Parker Solar Probe is the first NASA mission to be named for a living person.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-05-21 11:15:59

A plaque dedicating NASA’s Parker Solar Probe mission to its namesake, Eugene Parker, who first theorized the existence of the solar wind, was installed onto the spacecraft on May 18, 2018, at Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Florida. The memory card at bottom of the plaque contains 1,137,202 names submitted by the public to travel to the Sun aboard the spacecraft, along with photos of Parker and a copy of his groundbreaking 1958 scientific paper. Parker Solar Probe is the first NASA mission to be named for a living person.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-05-21 11:15:59

A plaque dedicating NASA’s Parker Solar Probe mission to its namesake, Eugene Parker, who first theorized the existence of the solar wind, was installed onto the spacecraft on May 18, 2018, at Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Florida. The memory card at bottom of the plaque contains 1,137,202 names submitted by the public to travel to the Sun aboard the spacecraft, along with photos of Parker and a copy of his groundbreaking 1958 scientific paper. The plaque is mounted below the high-gain antenna (the round object with gray covering), which the spacecraft will use to transmit data back to Earth. Parker Solar Probe is the first NASA mission to be named for a living person.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-05-21 11:15:59

A plaque dedicating NASA’s Parker Solar Probe mission to its namesake, Eugene Parker, who first theorized the existence of the solar wind, was installed onto the spacecraft on May 18, 2018, at Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Florida. The memory card at bottom contains 1,137,202 names submitted by the public to travel to the Sun aboard the spacecraft, along with photos of Parker and a copy of his groundbreaking 1958 scientific paper. The plaque is mounted below the high-gain antenna (the round object with gray covering), which the spacecraft will use to transmit data back to Earth. Parker Solar Probe is the first NASA mission to be named for a living person.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-05-07 12:03:00

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is powered by two solar arrays, shown here on May 2, 2018, at Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Florida.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-05-07 12:03:00

Andrew Gerger, an engineer from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, prepares to conduct an inspection of one of the solar arrays from NASA’s Parker Solar Probe on May 2, 2018, at Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Florida.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-05-07 12:03:00

Andrew Gerger of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory inspects one of NASA’s Parker Solar Probe’s two solar panels by passing current through the array, which causes it to glow red and allows him to examine each individual solar cell. The testing occurred on May 2, 2018, at Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Florida.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-05-07 12:03:00

Andrew Gerger of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory and Rick Stall of Newforge Technologies check and adjust a purple laser using a replica of a solar array wing on May 3, 2018. Later, when the solar arrays are attached to the spacecraft, the laser will be used to illuminate each string of cells on the array to confirm the string is connected and will provide power to the spacecraft.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-04-28 15:43:26

Participants received a certificate after they confirmed their submission.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL

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2018-04-26 14:16:13

The United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy that will carry Parker Solar Probe is raised at Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on April 17, 2018.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-04-26 14:16:13

The United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy that will carry Parker Solar Probe is raised at Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on April 17, 2018.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-04-26 14:16:13

The United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy that will carry Parker Solar Probe is raised at Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on April 17, 2018.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-04-26 14:16:13

The United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy that will carry Parker Solar Probe is raised at Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on April 17, 2018.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-04-26 14:16:13

The United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy that will carry Parker Solar Probe is raised at Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on April 17, 2018.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-04-24 14:22:33

Parker Solar Probe’s heat shield, encased in a shipping container, is covered up for a rainy day of travel from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, to Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Florida, on April 16, 2018.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ben Wong

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2018-04-24 14:22:33

Parker Solar Probe’s heat shield – called the Thermal Protection System – departs from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, on April 16, 2018. The heat shield traveled to Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Florida, on the flatbed of a truck, safely protected from the elements in its metal shipping container.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ben Wong

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2018-04-24 14:22:33

Parker Solar Probe’s heat shield arrives in Florida on April 18, 2018, and is unloaded at Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Florida, where it will eventually be reattached to the Parker Solar Probe spacecraft before launch in late July.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-04-24 14:22:33

Parker Solar Probe’s heat shield – encased in its metal shipping container – is reunited with the spacecraft – seen in the background – at Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Florida, on April 18, 2018.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-04-06 09:30:18

Parker Solar Probe – wrapped in protective plastic – is shown on March 29, 2018, as the lid is lowered onto its shipping container at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The spacecraft is shipped on its side to allow for more easy transport and to avoid height-related obstacles such as bridges. From Goddard, the probe was taken by truck to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland and flown to Florida aboard a United States Air Force C-17.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-04-06 09:30:18

Inside its protective shipping container, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is loaded into a C-17 from the United States Air Force’s 436th Airlift Wing at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland in the early morning of April 3, 2018. From Joint Base Andrews, the spacecraft was flown to Titusville, Florida, where it was taken to Astrotech Space Operations for pre-launch testing and preparations.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Jeffrey Fiske

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2018-04-06 09:30:18

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe, inside a protective shipping container, is loaded into a C-17 from the United States Air Force’s 436th Airlift Wing at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland in the early morning of April 3, 2018. From Joint Base Andrews, the spacecraft was flown to Titusville, Florida, where it was taken to Astrotech Space Operations for pre-launch testing and preparations.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Jeffrey Fiske

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2018-04-06 09:30:18

Sitting inside a custom-made protective shipping container, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is loaded into a C-17 from the United States Air Force’s 436th Airlift Wing at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland in the early morning of April 3, 2018. From Joint Base Andrews, the spacecraft was flown to Titusville, Florida, where it was taken to Astrotech Space Operations for pre-launch testing and preparations.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Jeffrey Fiske

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2018-04-06 09:30:18

A C-17 from the United States Air Force’s 436th Airlift Wing, carrying NASA’s Parker Solar Probe, approaches for landing at Space Coast Regional Airport in Titusville, Florida, on the morning of April 3, 2018. After landing, the spacecraft was taken to Astrotech Space Operations for pre-launch testing and preparations.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-04-06 09:30:18

A C-17 from the United States Air Force’s 436th Airlift Wing, carrying NASA’s Parker Solar Probe, lands at 10:40 a.m. EDT at Space Coast Regional Airport in Titusville, Florida, on the morning of April 3, 2018. After landing, the spacecraft was unloaded and taken to Astrotech Space Operations, also in Titusville, for pre-launch testing and preparations.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-04-06 09:30:18

The C-17 from the United States Air Force’s 436th Airlift Wing carrying NASA’s Parker Solar Probe taxis after landing at Space Coast Regional Airport in Titusville, Florida, on the morning of April 3, 2018. After landing, the spacecraft was taken to Astrotech Space Operations, also in Titusville, for pre-launch testing and preparations.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-04-06 09:30:18

After landing at Space Coast Regional Airport in Titusville, Florida, on the morning of April 3, 2018, equipment is unloaded from the C-17 – from the United States Air Force’s 436th Airlift Wing – carrying NASA’s Parker Solar Probe. The spacecraft was later taken to Astrotech Space Operations, also in Titusville, for pre-launch testing and preparations.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-04-06 09:30:18

The custom shipping container holding NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is prepared for unloading from the C-17 of the United States Air Force’s 436th Airlift Wing after landing at Space Coast Regional Airport in Titusville, Florida, on the morning of April 3, 2018. The spacecraft was then taken to Astrotech Space Operations, also in Titusville, for pre-launch testing and preparations.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-04-06 09:30:18

Securely packed in its custom transport container, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is unloaded from the C-17 of the United States Air Force’s 436th Airlift Wing after landing at Space Coast Regional Airport in Titusville, Florida, on the morning of April 3, 2018. After unloading, the spacecraft was taken to Astrotech Space Operations, also in Titusville, for pre-launch testing and preparations.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-04-06 09:30:18

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is unloaded by forklift from the C-17 of the United States Air Force’s 436th Airlift Wing after arriving at Space Coast Regional Airport in Titusville, Florida, on the morning of April 3, 2018. The spacecraft was taken to Astrotech Space Operations, also in Titusville, for pre-launch testing and preparations.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-04-06 09:30:18

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is loaded aboard a truck after being flown to Space Coast Regional Airport in Titusville, Florida, on the morning of April 3, 2018, by a C-17 from the United States Air Force’s 436th Airlift Wing. The spacecraft was taken to Astrotech Space Operations, also in Titusville, for pre-launch testing and preparations.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-04-06 09:30:18

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is carefully moved into a high-bay clean room facility at Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Florida, for pre-launch testing and preparations. On April 3, 2018, the spacecraft was transported from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, to Joint Base Andrews by truck, then by a United States Air Force C-17 to Titusville.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-04-06 09:30:18

Protected by special plastic sheeting, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is wheeled into a clean room at Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Florida, for pre-launch testing and preparations. On April 3, 2018, the spacecraft was transported from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, to Joint Base Andrews by truck, then by a United States Air Force C-17 to Titusville.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-04-06 09:30:18

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is wheeled into position in a clean room at Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Florida, for pre-launch testing and preparations. On April 3, 2018, the spacecraft was transported from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, to Joint Base Andrews by truck, then by a United States Air Force C-17 to Titusville.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-03-26 15:35:00

Members of the Parker Solar Probe team prepare the spacecraft to be lifted from the Space Environment Simulator at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, on March 24, 2018. The spacecraft has spent eight weeks undergoing successful testing in the Space Environment Simulator to ensure that the mission will operate as planned during its seven-year long exploration of the Sun.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-03-26 15:35:00

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is carefully lifted from the Space Environment Simulator at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, on March 24, 2018. The probe has spent eight weeks undergoing space environment testing, including hot and cold cycling tests that mimic the temperature changes the spacecraft will experience during its seven-year long exploration of the Sun.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-03-26 15:35:00

Parker Solar Probe is lifted out of the Space Environment Simulator at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, on March 24, 2018. The spacecraft has spent eight weeks undergoing space environment testing in the thermal vacuum chamber. After about seven more days of testing outside the chamber, Parker Solar Probe will travel to Florida for a scheduled launch on July 31, 2018, from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-03-26 15:35:00

Members of the Parker Solar Probe team from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab in Laurel, Maryland, monitor the progress of the spacecraft as it is lifted from the Space Environment Simulator at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and lowered to the custom platform visible in the foreground. The spacecraft has spent eight weeks undergoing space environment testing in the thermal vacuum chamber before being lifted out on March 24, 2018.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-03-26 15:35:00

Members of the Parker Solar Probe team from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center carefully lower the spacecraft onto a specially built platform on March 24, 2018. The probe has spent eight weeks undergoing space environment testing, including hot and cold cycling tests that mimic the temperature changes the spacecraft will experience during its seven-year long exploration of the Sun.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-03-26 15:35:00

Parker Solar Probe team members connect the spacecraft to a specially built platform after removing the probe from the Space Environment Simulator at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, on March 24, 2018. The probe will undergo about seven more days of testing outside the chamber, then travel to Florida for a scheduled launch on July 31, 2018, from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-03-26 15:35:00

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is wheeled into a clean room at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, on March 24, 2018, after successfully completing space environment testing to verify the spacecraft is ready for operations in space. The probe will undergo about seven more days of testing outside the chamber, then travel to Florida for a scheduled launch on July 31, 2018, from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-03-06 12:30:07

Illustration of the Parker Solar Probe spacecraft approaching the Sun.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Steve Gribben

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2018-01-30 15:03:17

Members of the Parker Solar Probe team prepare the spacecraft for space environment testing in the thermal vacuum chamber at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. The thermal vacuum chamber duplicates the airless environment of space and simulates the cold and hot temperature cycles the spacecraft will endure during its seven-year exploration of the Sun.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-01-30 15:03:17

To prepare NASA’s Parker Solar Probe for space environment testing, the team must make hundreds of connections to allow the engineers and technicians to monitor the safety and performance of the spacecraft’s systems. Four hundred thermocouples mounted on the spacecraft let the team track the health of the probe as it undergoes temperature cycling in the thermal vacuum chamber at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-01-30 15:03:17

Parker Solar Probe team members from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory work to attach testing and monitoring equipment and sensors to the spacecraft inside the thermal vacuum chamber at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Space environment testing duplicates the airless environment of space and simulates the cold and hot temperature cycles the spacecraft will endure during its seven-year exploration of the Sun.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-01-30 15:03:17

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe sits inside the thermal vacuum chamber at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. On Jan. 27, the spacecraft began space environment testing inside the chamber, which simulates the hot and cold airless environments that the mission will experience during its mission to the Sun.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-01-30 15:03:17

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe, shown inside the thermal vacuum chamber at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center just before the main hatch is closed to begin space environment testing. The thermal vacuum chamber duplicates the airless environment of space and simulates the cold and hot temperature cycles the spacecraft will endure during its seven-year exploration of the Sun.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-01-17 17:30:25

Member of the NASA Parker Solar Probe team wheel the spacecraft – bagged to protect it from contamination – from its cleanroom at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., to the thermal vacuum chamber, where it will undergo approximately seven weeks of testing at extreme temperatures that will simulate the space environment.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-01-17 17:30:25

Parker Solar Probe is slowly lifted and carried to the top of the thermal vacuum chamber, which will simulate the airless environment of space, in addition to conducting intense hot and cold temperature testing.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-01-17 17:30:25

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe descends into the thermal vacuum chamber at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. The spacecraft will be inside the chamber for about seven weeks.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-01-17 17:30:25

Engineers and technicians from the Parker Solar Probe team monitor the descent of the spacecraft into the thermal vacuum chamber.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2018-01-17 17:30:25

Parker Solar Probe team members begin the process of reattaching the spacecraft to power and other systems in preparation for testing the operation of the probe in intense heat and cold while in an airless environment.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2017-12-15 10:08:17

The Parker Solar Probe team at Johns Hopkins APL prepares to lift the heat shield, called the Thermal Protection System (TPS), in preparation for shipment to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center for further environmental testing.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2017-12-15 10:08:17

The Parker Solar Probe spacecraft's Thermal Protection System (TPS), or heat shield, is carefully moved to a shipping container for transport from Johns Hopkins APL to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and further environmental testing.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2017-12-15 10:08:17

The Parker Solar Probe team carefully lowers the spacecraft's Thermal Protection System (TPS) into a shipping container to carry the heat shield from Johns Hopkins APL to NASA's Goddard Flight Center.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2017-12-15 10:08:17

At NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, the structure that holds Parker Solar Probe's Thermal Protection System (TPS) is lowered into the Thermal Vacuum Chamber.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2017-12-15 10:08:17

Parker Solar Probe's Thermal Protection System (TPS) is lowered into the Thermal Vacuum Chamber at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in preparation for environmental testing.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2017-12-15 10:08:17

Parker Solar Probe's Thermal Protection System (TPS) - the heat shield that will protect the spacecraft from the Sun's intense heat - is lowered into the Thermal Vacuum Chamber at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in preparation for environmental testing.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2017-12-06 11:31:00

Parker Solar Probe team members use lasers to ensure that the spacecraft's solar arrays have survived harsh environmental testing and are operating correctly.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2017-11-16 14:30:43

Members of the integration and testing team roll Parker Solar Probe into the Acoustic Test Chamber at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2017-11-16 14:30:43

A member of the integration and testing team prepares Parker Solar Probe for environmental testing in the Acoustic Test Chamber at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2017-11-16 14:30:43

Members of the integration and testing team prepare Parker Solar Probe for environmental testing in the Acoustic Test Chamber at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2017-11-16 14:30:43

Parker Solar Probe sits in the Acoustic Test Chamber at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2017-11-16 14:30:43

Members of the integration and testing team monitor acoustic testing of Parker Solar Probe in the Acoustic Test Chamber at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2017-11-15 15:50:47

Parker Solar Probe Project Scientist Nicky Fox of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab is interviewed at NASA Headquarters about the Sun and the mission for the new “Gravity Assist” podcast that launched Nov. 15, 2017.

Credit: NASA

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2017-11-03 08:59:03

Engineers and technicians at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab closely monitor vibration testing of NASA's Parker Solar Probe. The spacecraft is attached to a shaker table, which simulates the intense physical forces of launch and powered flight.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2017-10-13 10:50:13

Engineers and technicians prepare the Parker Solar Probe spacecraft for mass properties testing. This marks the beginning of environmental testing, a series of physical tests that will ensure the probe can withstand the rigors of launch and temperature fluctuations of space operations.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2017-10-06 12:37:49

Parker Solar Probe is about to be launched... into a gentle arc. By swinging the probe past magnetometers, the team can characterize the spacecraft's own magnetic field.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2017-10-05 12:23:49

Johns Hopkins APL's Betsy Congdon (left) and NASA's Thomas Zurbuchen, head of the agency's Science Mission Directorate, at the Parker Solar Probe renaming event at the University of Chicago in May. The augmented reality spacecraft model is visible at left.

Credit: NASA/JHUAPL

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2017-10-05 12:23:49

Felipe Ruiz, of Johns Hopkins APL, points to a section of the Parker Solar Probe spacecraft visible only to the group wearing HoloLens augmented reality glasses.

Credit: NASA/JHUAPL

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2017-10-03 15:31:39

Eugene Parker, professor emeritus at the University of Chicago, visits the spacecraft that bears his name, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe, at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, where the probe was designed and is being built. The large black structure is one of the spacecraft's massive cooling radiators. The spacecraft is humanity’s first mission to a star – it will travel directly through the Sun’s atmosphere.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2017-10-03 15:31:39

Members of the Parker Solar Probe team and NASA and APL leadership listen to the mission's namesake, Eugene N. Parker, center, on Oct. 3, 2017 in the spacecraft clean room at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2017-10-03 15:31:39

Eugene Parker (center), professor emeritus at the University of Chicago, visits the spacecraft that bears his name: NASA’s Parker Solar Probe. Thomas Zurbuchen (bottom right), the Associate Administrator for NASA’s science mission directorate, and Ralph Semmel (behind Parker), the director of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, where the probe was designed and is being built, joined the tour.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2017-10-03 15:31:39

Eugene Parker, professor emeritus at the University of Chicago, visiting the spacecraft that bears his name: NASA’s Parker Solar Probe. Engineers in the clean room at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, where the probe was designed and is being built point out the instruments that will collect data as the mission travels directly through the Sun’s atmosphere.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2017-10-03 15:31:39

Nicola Fox (bottom left), project scientist for NASA’s Parker Solar Probe at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, describes the mission to the scientist for whom it’s named: Eugene Parker (middle). Eugene Parker first proposed the existence of the constant outflow of solar material from the sun — now called the solar wind — through which the spacecraft will travel. The red frame on the end of the spacecraft is a stand-in for the mission’s thermal protection system, which will reach temperatures of 2,500 degrees F during its journey.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2017-09-30 07:38:10

On Sept. 21, 2017, engineers at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, lowered the thermal protection system – the heat shield – onto the spacecraft for a test of alignment as part of integration and testing.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2017-09-30 07:38:10

On Sept. 21, 2017, engineers at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, lowered the thermal protection system – the heat shield – onto the spacecraft for a test of alignment as part of integration and testing.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2017-09-30 07:38:10

The TPS installation team from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland,which installed the thermal protection system – the heat shield – onto the spacecraft for a test of alignment as part of integration and testing.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2017-09-12 12:55:33

A United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy common booster core arrives at the Horizontal Integration Facility at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for preflight processing. The Delta IV Heavy will launch NASA’s upcoming Parker Solar Probe mission.

Credit: NASA/Cory Huston

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2017-09-12 12:55:33

The Port Common Booster Core of the Delta IV Heavy for the Parker Solar Probe Mission is offloaded from the Mariner ship for transport to the Horizontal Integration Facility at Space Launch Complex 37.

Credit: NASA/Ben Smegelsky

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2017-09-12 12:55:33

Sunrise is reflected in the side of the Mariner ship and in the water of Port Canaveral below.

Credit: NASA/Cory Huston

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2017-08-03 11:56:00

Framed by a series of cabbage palms, a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy common booster core is transported by truck to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Launch Complex 37 Horizontal Processing Facility after arriving at Port Canaveral. The Delta IV Heavy will launch NASA’s upcoming Parker Solar Probe mission.

Credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

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2017-08-03 11:56:00

A United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy common booster core is transported by truck to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Launch Complex 37 Horizontal Processing Facility after arriving at Port Canaveral. The Delta IV Heavy will launch NASA’s upcoming Parker Solar Probe mission.

Credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

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2017-06-21 09:00:23

The solar array cooling system for the Parker Solar Probe spacecraft—one element of which is the large, square black radiator visible at center, one of two that will be installed—is shown undergoing thermal testing at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland in late February.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2017-06-21 09:00:23

The solar array cooling system for the Parker Solar Probe spacecraft—one element of which is the large, square black radiator visible at center, one of two that will be installed—is shown undergoing thermal testing at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland in late February. At left: William “Chip” Delmar and C. Jack Ercol of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory; on right, Mike Micciolo of NASA Goddard and APL’s Eric Wallis.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

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2017-06-21 09:00:23

The solar panels are shown here on this artist rendering of Parker Solar Probe; they are the black squares with gray rectangles on the center of the spacecraft.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Steve Gribben

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2017-05-31 11:30:00

NASA’s first mission to go to the sun, the Parker Solar Probe, is named after Eugene Parker who first theorized that the sun constantly sends out a flow of particles and energy called the solar wind.

Credit: NASA/JHUAPL

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2017-05-31 11:30:00

Illustration of the Parker Solar Probe spacecraft approaching the sun.

Credit: NASA/JHUAPL

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2017-05-17 07:32:31

Neal Bachtell, of the Space Exploration Sector, adjusts the bracket for the Energetic Particle Instrument-Low Energy (EPI-Lo) on the Solar Probe Plus spacecraft on April 17, 2017. EPI-Lo is the first of several science instruments set for installation on the NASA spacecraft, scheduled to launch in July 2018 on an unprecedented, close-up study of the sun.

Credit: NASA/JHUAPL

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2017-05-17 07:32:31

An APL technician prepares the Energetic Particle Instrument-Low Energy (EPI-Lo) for installation on NASA’s Solar Probe Plus spacecraft.

Credit: NASA/JHUAPL

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2017-04-19 13:58:23

Mission integration and test team members secure the deck holding the structure assembly and several other critical thermal-protection components atop NASA’s Solar Probe Plus spacecraft body on April 5, 2017, in the cleanroom at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

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2017-04-19 13:58:23

From left, Cheryl Starkey, Justin Hahn, Felipe Ruiz, Randy Persaud and Jim Beatty (obstructed by spacecraft) position the deck holding the structure assembly and several other critical thermal-protection components atop NASA’s Solar Probe Plus spacecraft body on April 5, 2017, in the cleanroom at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

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2017-01-05 13:41:46

Project Scientist Nicky Fox points out features on the Solar Probe Plus spacecraft during her Dec. 13 flash talk at the AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco.

Credit:

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2016-07-29 09:46:39

Engineers at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, prepare the developing Solar Probe Plus spacecraft for thermal vacuum tests that simulate conditions in space. Today the spacecraft includes the primary structure and its propulsion system; still to be installed over the next several months are critical systems such as power, communications and thermal protection, as well as science instruments.

Credit: Credit: NASA/JHUAPL

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2015-04-08 12:37:00

Artist rendering of Solar Probe Plus, solar panels folded into the shadows of its protective shield, as it gathers data on its approach to the Sun.

Credit: NASA/JHUAPL

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2014-03-18 09:26:32

Technicians at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., prepare an engineering model of the Solar Probe Plus Thermal Protection System, or TPS, for vibration tests in October 2013. The main feature of the TPS is an 8-foot-diameter, 4.5-inch-thick, carbon-carbon, carbon foam shield that will sit atop the Solar Probe Plus spacecraft body. The system will protect Solar Probe Plus from temperatures exceeding 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit and impacts from hypervelocity dust particles as it flies through the sun’s outer atmosphere. The vibration tests simulate the shaking the spacecraft will undergo during launch; Solar Probe Plus is scheduled to launch in 2018.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

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2014-03-18 09:26:32

Artist’s impression of NASA’s Solar Probe Plus spacecraft on approach to the sun. Set to launch in 2018, Solar Probe Plus will orbit the sun 24 times, closing in with the help of seven Venus flybys. The spacecraft will carry 10 science instruments specifically designed to solve two key puzzles of solar physics: why the sun’s outer atmosphere is so much hotter than the sun’s visible surface, and what accelerates the solar wind that affects Earth and our solar system. The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory manages the Solar Probe Plus mission for NASA and leads the spacecraft fabrication, integration and testing effort.

Credit: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

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