Safe in the Shadow: Making Sure Solar Probe's Instruments Keep CoolPosted on 04/27/2018 14:00:57
NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is moved to a special stand and rotated down to a horizontal position on April 10 during pre-launch processing and testing at Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Florida, just outside Kennedy Space Center. Once horizontal, the integration and testing team measured the alignment of the Thermal Protection System (TPS) mounting points with respect to the spacecraft structure. This is done to assure that the umbra (or shadow) cast by the TPS – the heat shield – protects the spacecraft and instruments.
The first mission to touch the Sun – Parker Solar Probe will fly through the intense heat of the Sun’s corona, protected by a revolutionary heat shield – is scheduled for launch at about 4 a.m. on July 31, 2018.