Solar 60: Parker Dedication Plaque and Send Your Name to the Sun Installation
Parker Solar Probe Project Manager Andy Driesman and Project Scientist Nicky Fox, both from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, discuss the installation of a plaque dedicating the mission to its namesake, Eugene Parker, who first theorized the existence of the solar wind. This is the first NASA mission to be named for a living person. On the plaque is a memory card containing Parker's 1958 paper about the solar wind, photographs of him during his career, and 1,137,202 names submitted by the public to join the mission on its historic journey to touch the Sun.
Solar 60: Fields Antenna Release Testing
The Fields antennas are a critical part of Parker Solar Probe's science operations. They need to be stowed alongside the spacecraft during launch, and released for deployment when safely in space. Johns Hopkins APL's Jennifer Fischer, Randy Schlotterbeck, and Sarah Bucior explain and perform a test of the release mechanism, known as "clam shells."
Solar 60: Delta IV Heavy Launch Vehicle Rises at Launch Complex 37
Parker Solar Probe's launch vehicle - the Delta IV Heavy, the most powerful rocket currently used by NASA - will carry the spacecraft into space later this year. Johns Hopkins APL's Jennifer Fischer, deputy system assurance lead, interviews Project Manager Andy Driesman about the launch and the efforts to date to make this historic mission possible.
Solar 60: Flying Parker Solar Probe from Maryland to Florida
Deputy Project Manager Patrick Hill and Systems Assurance Lead Luke Becker, both of Johns Hopkins APL, discuss the planning involved in flying Parker Solar Probe from Maryland to Florida - and why it's smarter to fly than drive.
Solar 60: Parker Solar Probe Mission Design
How do you design the trajectory of a mission to the touch the sun? Johns Hopkins APL's Yanping Guo, mission design and navigation manager, explains how the alignment of the planets led to the creation of the best route for NASA's Parker Solar Probe.
Solar 60: Simulating Heat on Parker Solar Probe
Even though Parker Solar Probe's thermal protection system (TPS) will shield the spacecraft from the tremendous heat of the Sun as the mission flies through the corona, the integration and testing team still needs to ensure the probe will perform as expected. Johns Hopkins APL's Rosanna Smith and Elizabeth Abel explain how the Parker Solar Probe team uses the space environment simulator at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center to test the spacecraft.
Solar 60: Simulating the Deep Chill of Space
The Parker Solar Probe team needs to get the spacecraft into a deep cold environment, just like it will experience while in space. Johns Hopkins APL's Felipe Ruiz and Andy Webb describe how the thermal vacuum chamber at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center creates the intense cold temps - and there's a humorous exaggeration in the explanation that true science-fiction-comedy film fans will catch!
Solar 60: What Happens During "Chamber Break?"
While undergoing space environment testing at the thermal vacuum chamber at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in February, the Parker Solar Probe team opened the chamber to reconfigure the spacecraft and testing equipment. Johns Hopkins APL's Luke Becker interviews Annette Dolbow, lead integration and testing engineer, about the process and preparing for the four-week long thermal cycling test.
Solar 60: Space Environment Testing for Thermal Protection System
Parker Solar Probe's Deputy Lead Mechanical Engineer Felipe Ruiz and Thermal Protection System (TPS) Lead Engineer Betsy Congdon - both from Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab - discuss how the spacecraft undergoes space environment testing with a special version of the TPS.
Parker Solar Probe: Women on a Mission
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
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.
ProtoSpace Augmented Reality for Parker Solar Probe
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.
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