Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. 24/7 Space News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



SOLAR SCIENCE
Parker Solar Probe Gets Its Revolutionary Heat Shield
by Karen Fox for GSFC News
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Sep 27, 2017


Parker Solar Probe is on track for launch during a 20-day window that opens July 31, 2018. The mission is part of NASA's Living With a Star program to explore aspects of the sun-Earth system that directly affect life and society.

On Sept. 25, 2017, media were invited to see NASA's Parker Solar Probe in its flight configuration at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, where it is being built.

The revolutionary heat shield that will protect the first spacecraft to fly directly into the Sun's atmosphere was installed for the first time on Sept. 21.

This is the only time the spacecraft will have its thermal protection system - which will reach temperatures of 2,500 degrees F while at the Sun - attached until just before launch.

Parker Solar Probe is scheduled for launch on July 31, 2018, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

The spacecraft will explore the Sun's outer atmosphere and make critical observations that will answer decades-old questions about the physics of how stars work.

The resulting data will improve forecasts of major space weather events that impact life on Earth, as well as satellites and astronauts in space.

NASA Renames Solar Probe Mission to Honor Pioneering Physicist Eugene Parker
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. The announcement was made at a ceremony at the University of Chicago, where Parker serves as the S. Chandrasekhar Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics.

In 1958, Parker - then a young professor at the university's Enrico Fermi Institute - published an article in the Astrophysical Journal called "Dynamics of the interplanetary gas and magnetic fields." Parker believed there was high speed matter and magnetism constantly escaping the sun, and that it affected the planets and space throughout our solar system.

This phenomenon, now known as the solar wind, has been proven to exist repeatedly through direct observation. Parker's work forms the basis for much of our understanding about how stars interact with the worlds that orbit them.

"This is the first time NASA has named a spacecraft for a living individual," said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. "It's a testament to the importance of his body of work, founding a new field of science that also inspired my own research and many important science questions NASA continues to study and further understand every day. I'm very excited to be personally involved honoring a great man and his unprecedented legacy."

"The solar probe is going to a region of space that has never been explored before," said Parker. "It's very exciting that we'll finally get a look. One would like to have some more detailed measurements of what's going on in the solar wind. I'm sure that there will be some surprises. There always are."

In the 1950s, Parker proposed a number of concepts about how stars - including our sun - give off energy. He called this cascade of energy the solar wind, and he described an entire complex system of plasmas, magnetic fields and energetic particles that make up this phenomenon. Parker also theorized an explanation for the superheated solar atmosphere, the corona, which is - contrary to what was expected by physics laws - hotter than the surface of the sun itself. Many NASA missions have continued to focus on this complex space environment defined by our star - a field of research known as heliophysics.

"Parker Solar Probe is going to answer questions about solar physics that we've puzzled over for more than six decades," said Parker Solar Probe Project Scientist Nicola Fox, of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. "It's a spacecraft loaded with technological breakthroughs that will solve many of the largest mysteries about our star, including finding out why the sun's corona is so much hotter than its surface. And we're very proud to be able to carry Gene's name with us on this amazing voyage of discovery."

NASA missions are most often renamed after launch and certification; in this case, given Parker's accomplishments within the field, and how closely aligned this mission is with his research, the decision was made to honor him prior to launch, in order to draw attention to his important contributions to heliophysics and space science.

Born on June 10, 1927, in Michigan, Eugene Newman Parker received a Bachelor of Science in physics from Michigan State University and a doctorate from Caltech. He then taught at the University of Utah, and since 1955, Parker has held faculty positions at the University of Chicago and at its Fermi Institute. He has received numerous awards for his research, including the George Ellery Hale Prize, the National Medal of Science, the Bruce Medal, the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society, the Kyoto Prize, and the James Clerk Maxwell Prize.

Parker Solar Probe is on track for launch during a 20-day window that opens July 31, 2018. The mission is part of NASA's Living With a Star program to explore aspects of the sun-Earth system that directly affect life and society.

LWS is managed by the agency's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington, D.C. Johns Hopkins APL manages the mission for NASA and is designing and building and will operate the spacecraft.

+ Parker Solar Probe at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

SOLAR SCIENCE
Solar antics
Paris (ESA) Sep 21, 2017
The Sun's recent activity has caught the interest of scientists and space weather forecasters worldwide, highlighting the need to keep a watchful eye on our star and its awesome power. On 6 and 10 September, our Sun produced a pair of solar flares, the strongest observed in over 10 years. They were accompanied by huge eruptions of billions of tonnes of matter into space. While many ... read more

Related Links
Parker Solar Probe
Solar Science News at SpaceDaily


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

SOLAR SCIENCE
Aussie astronaut calls for establishment of national space agency

Mapping NASA's Space Missions

NASA's New Hubble E-Book Series Dives into the Solar System and Beyond

Tech dreams live or die on startup battlefields

SOLAR SCIENCE
What looks good on paper may look good in space

Demonstrator 3 linear aerospike ready to start tests

ISRO to resume satellite launches by December

Mechanisms are Critical to Space Vehicle Flight Success

SOLAR SCIENCE
HIAD heat shield material feels the burn during arc jet testing

Devilish Source of Dust in Atmosphere of Earth and Mars

Hope to discover sure signs of life on Mars

3-D Analysis Offers New Info on Martian Climate Change, Age of Polar Caps

SOLAR SCIENCE
Mars probe to carry 13 types of payload on 2020 mission

China's cargo spacecraft separates from Tiangong-2 space lab

Work on China's mission to Mars 'well underway'

Chinese company eyes development of reusable launch vehicle

SOLAR SCIENCE
Thomas calls for new comprehensive Australian Space Agency at IAC address

AsiaSat 9 Set for Launch from Baikonur on September 29

Lockheed Martin introduces new satellite bus lineup

Bulgaria Sat Wins "Newcomer Satellite Operator of the Year" for 2017

SOLAR SCIENCE
Ultra-light aluminum: USU chemist reports breakthrough in material design

Positive, negative or neutral, it all matters: NASA explains space radiation

Dosage formulations for anti-radiation drug being developed

Space radiation is risky business for the human body

SOLAR SCIENCE
Scientists propose new concept of terrestrial planet formation

The return of the comet-like exoplanet

New prediction of a detection wavelength for searching phototrophs on exoplanets

Hubble observes pitch black planet

SOLAR SCIENCE
Global Aerospace Corporation to present Pluto lander concept to NASA

Solving the Mystery of Pluto's Giant Blades of Ice

Pluto features given first official names

Hibernation Over, New Horizons Continues Kuiper Belt Cruise




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement