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Multimedia: VideosLaunch

First Perihelion: Into the Unknown - Parker Solar Probe

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At about 10:28 p.m. EST on Nov. 5, Parker Solar Probe achieved its first perihelion - its first close approach to the Sun - and came within 15 million miles of the Sun's surface, almost twice as close as any spacecraft before it. During perihelion, the spacecraft reached a top speed of 213,200 miles per hour relative to the Sun.

Parker Solar Probe: The Journey Begins

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NASA’s Parker Solar Probe launched from Florida Sunday, Aug. 12 to begin its journey to the Sun, where it will undertake a landmark mission. The spacecraft will transmit its first science observations in December, beginning a revolution in our understanding of the star that makes life on Earth possible. The spacecraft – designed, built, and managed for NASA by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory – lifted off at 3:31 a.m. EDT on a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket from Space Launch Complex-37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. At 5:33 a.m. EDT, the mission operations manager at APL reported that the spacecraft was healthy and operating nominally. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL

Parker Solar Probe Launch

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Footage of the Delta IV Heavy Launch on August 12, 2018. Credit: NASA

Multimedia: VideosSolar 60

Multimedia: VideosFeatures

New Observations of the Zodiacal Cloud

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Using data from Parker Solar Probe, researchers saw impacts that were consistent with the two primary dust populations in the zodiacal cloud. The first population are grains being slowly pulled in toward the Sun over thousands to millions of years; then, as the swirling cloud gets denser, the larger grains collide and create fragments – called beta-meteoroids – that are pushed out of the solar system in all directions by pressure from sunlight. Parker Solar Probe also picked up an enhancement in dust detections that didn't match the two-component model, a tip that another dust population may be in the area. The researchers figured that a meteoroid streams - most likely the Geminids stream, which causes one of the most intense meteor showers at Earth - was colliding at high speeds into the inner zodiacal cloud itself. These impacts with zodiacal dust produce beta-meteoroids that don't blast off in random directions, but are focused into a narrow set of paths. This concept addresses a fundamental process that would be occurring not only at every meteoroid stream in our solar system, but with every meteoroid stream to varying degrees in every dust cloud in the universe. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ben Smith

Parker Solar Probe: Keeping Its Cool

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How does the Parker Solar Probe keep its cool? The answer is creative engineering. The spacecraft is protected from the Sun's heat by a state-of-the-art shield. Just 4 and a half inches thick, and made of carbon, carbon foam and composite, the shield can withstand temperatures that approach 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit, or 1,400 degrees Celsius. Designed and built at Johns Hopkins APL, the heat shield shades Parker Solar Probe’s critical systems on the outside, keeping them operating near room temperature of about 84 degrees. The Parker Solar Probe also carries a first-of-its-kind, water cooled solar array cooling system. Without it, the solar arrays would not survive the heat from the Sun - and the spacecraft would not have the power to operate the instruments that are exploring the sun's corona, or the systems that protect the spacecraft from the intense solar environment. So while the Parker Solar Probe might be flying through one of the toughest places in space, it’s designed to take the heat - and keep its cool - as it revolutionizes what we know about the Sun

How Data Gets from the Sun to the Scientists | Parker Solar Probe

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Two years ago, the Parker Solar Probe embarked on a historical journey. Since then, the mission has been changing the landscape of heliophysics.

Parker Solar Probe will swoop to within 4 million miles of the Sun's surface, facing heat and radiation like no spacecraft before it. 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. So how does the Parker Solar Probe get information from the Sun to the scientists? It takes some careful timing and aiming.

(Voiceover by Parker Solar Probe Mission Systems Engineer Jim Kinnison)

Parker Solar Probe: Women on a Mission

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We celebrated Women's History Month with a look at a group of women from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab who are key to the success of NASA's Parker Solar Probe, scheduled to launch on July 31. Meet APL's Nicola Fox, project scientist; Betsy Congdon, lead thermal protection system engineer; Yanping Guo, mission design and navigation manager; and Annette Dolbow, integration and test lead engineer -- just a few of the women working to ready the Parker Solar Probe spacecraft for its historic journey to our star.

Moving Day: Parker Solar Probe Move from Johns Hopkins APL to NASA Goddard

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Follow Parker Solar Probe on its journey from Johns Hopkins APL to NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Moving a spacecraft is a complex process, but with lots of planning and smart work, the team makes it look almost easy.

Parker Solar Probe Trailer

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Parker Solar Probe Trailer

Parker Solar Probe and the August 21, 2017 Solar Eclipse

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Parker Solar Probe and the August 21, 2017 Solar Eclipse Learn how Parker Solar Probe was connected to the August 21, 2017 solar eclipse....

ProtoSpace Augmented Reality for Parker Solar Probe

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Engineers from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland (where Parker Solar Probe is under construction) are leveraging a new augmented reality (AR) tool called ProtoSpace, developed at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, to improve how the men and women building the spacecraft can work on construction in a virtual, digital space.

Multimedia: VideosInstruments

FIELDS Experiment

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FIELDS Experiment

Integrated Science Investigation Sun (IS◉IS)

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Integrated Science Investigation Sun (IS◉IS)

Solar Wind Electrons Alphas Protons (SWEAP)

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Solar Wind Electrons Alphas Protons (SWEAP)

Thermal Protection System (TPS)

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Thermal Protection System (TPS)

WISPR

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Wide-field Imager for Solar Probe (WISPR)