Launch preparations are beginning to get off the ground for NASA’s upcoming Parker Solar Probe mission, scheduled to lift off in summer 2018 atop a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket.
As NASA’s Parker Solar Probe spacecraft begins its first historic encounter with the sun’s corona in late 2018—flying closer to our star than any other mission in history—a revolutionary cooling system will keep its solar arrays at peak performance, even in extremely hostile conditions.Every instrument and system on board Parker Solar Probe (with the exception of four antennas and a special particle detector) will be hidden from the sun behind a breakthrough thermal protection system (TPS)—an eight-foot diameter shield that the spacecraft uses to defend itself against the intense heat and energy of our star.
CHICAGO – NASA has renamed the Solar Probe Plus spacecraft – humanity’s first mission to a star, which will launch in 2018 – as the Parker Solar Probe in honor of astrophysicist Eugene Parker.
NASA will make an announcement about the agency’s first mission to fly directly into our sun’s atmosphere during an event at 11 a.m. EDT Wednesday, May 31, from the University of Chicago’s William Eckhardt Research Center Auditorium.
With a few electrical connections and several turns of a wrench, Solar Probe Plus had its first onboard scientific instrument. The EPI-Lo particle detector – half of the Integrated Science Investigation of the Sun instrument suite – was installed on the spacecraft on April 17 at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland.
The Solar Array Cooling System on Solar Probe Plus has one critical job – to protect the NASA spacecraft’s solar arrays from incineration as it moves through the blazing atmosphere of the sun.
Solar Probe Plus Project Scientist Dr. Nicola Fox at TEDxJHU was live on Facebook (@1:03) on March 11,2017.
Solar Probe Plus Project Scientist Nicky Fox, of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), was featured in a Discovery Channel Facebook Live event on Feb. 8, 2017.
The science of Solar Probe Plus – NASA’s first mission to “touch” the sun – was on stage last month at the American Geophysical Union’s Fall Meeting in San Francisco. With some 25,000 attendees, representing nearly 100 countries, AGU’s Fall Meeting is the world’s largest Earth and space science conference.
NASA's Solar Probe Plus – the first mission that will fly into sun's upper atmosphere and “touch” the sun – has passed a design review, an important milestone leading to its anticipated summer 2018 launch.
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