NASA to Launch Spacecraft Closer to Sun

Rodiano Bonacci
Agosto 9, 2018

Nasa is set to launch a space exploration mission this week that will attempt to "touch the Sun" and could offer vital clues about how solar energy works.

"The Parker Solar Probe's observations will help us answer questions like: Why is the corona a couple million degrees hotter than the sun?"

The $1.6-billion mission aims to improve forecasts of major space weather events that impact life on Earth as well as astronauts in space, NASA said. The challenge, she said, has always been how to protect such a craft from the sun's intense heat.

This will enable the probe to work on three main questions: why its atmosphere becomes hotter farther away from the surface of the Sun, how the solar wind of charged particles streaming out into space is born, and what causes the enormous outbursts scientists call coronal mass ejections. The probe will be the first spacecraft to fly into the low solar corona-the aura of plasma that surrounds our closest star.

The 1000-pound, car-sized spacecraft will be performing 24 flybys of the sun over its seven-year mission. If things go as per plan, NASA said that at a United Launch Alliance Delta IV heavy rocket, probe will take off aboard, on 11 of August early in the morning from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Every few orbits, the probe will use Venus' gravity to adjust its trajectory slightly, to make that distance of closest approach to the sun, the perihelion, get closer and closer.

It will get about 4 million miles from the sun. The heat will not melt the probe, because the engineers have created a powerful shield that will keep everything in the probe at 85 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius).

The four instruments onboard the spacecraft are a solar wind plasma suite, the Solar Wind Electrons Alphas and Protons (SWEAP) investigation; an electric and magnetic field suite (FIELDS); a wide field imager (WISPR); and the energetic particle suite, the Integrated Science Investigation of the Sun (ISʘIS).

"We see these big storms happening on the sun and then see them collide with Earth", said Geronimo Villanueva.

McComas has been involved in designing and planning the Parker Space Probe for more than a decade, but the mission was first identified as a priority in 1958, at the start of the space age.

It will hitch a ride through the atmosphere before being blasted into deep space by the Delta IV Heavy rocket.

Altre relazioniGrafFiotech

Discuti questo articolo

Segui i nostri GIORNALE