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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.

Cool Power

Posted on 06/21/2017 09:00:23

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.

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.

NASA Renames Solar Probe Mission to Honor Pioneering Physicist Eugene Parker

Posted on 05/31/2017 11:30:00

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.

Parker Solar Probe Spacecraft

NASA to Make Announcement About First Mission to Touch Sun

Posted on 05/26/2017 08:46:46

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.

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

Tuning Up: Solar Probe Plus Gets its First Science Instrument

Posted on 05/17/2017 07:32:31

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.

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.

Decked Out: Solar Array Cooling System Coming Together on Solar Probe Plus

Posted on 04/19/2017 13:58:23

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.

Parker Solar Probe Spacecraft

Solar Probe Plus Project Scientist Dr. Nicola Fox at TEDxJHU

Posted on 03/10/2017 18:48:13

Solar Probe Plus Project Scientist Dr. Nicola Fox at TEDxJHU was live on Facebook (@1:03) on March 11,2017.

Parker Solar Probe Spacecraft

Solar Probe Plus Featured on Discovery 'Facebook Live'

Posted on 02/08/2017 11:04:49

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.

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.

At International Meeting, Mission Team Previews the Science of Solar Probe Plus

Posted on 01/05/2017 13:41:46

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.

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.

NASA's Solar Probe Plus Mission Moves One Step Closer to Launch

Posted on 07/29/2016 09:46:39

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.

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.

NASA Gives Green Light for APL to Begin Building Solar Probe Plus

Posted on 04/08/2015 12:37:00

NASA’s Solar Probe Plus mission - which will fly closer to the Sun than any spacecraft has before- reached a major milestone last month when it successfully completed its Critical Design Review (CDR).

News CenterMedia Contacts

Dwayne Brown
NASA Headquarters
(202) 358-1726
Geoff Brown
Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
(240) 228-5618
Karen Fox
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
(301) 286-6284

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