Parker Solar probe: On the hell trip

A man-made device of the sun never came so close: The Parker probe starts into space. It must withstand 1,400 degrees Celsius and should solve a 60 year old riddle.

Parker Solar probe: On the hell trip

Not enough, probe should set anor record: According to calculations, it will be lawned by all at up to 692,000 kilometers per hour. This would be fastest man-made object so far and "could oretically travel from Philadelphia to Washington D.C. within a second," writes NASA. Or in a second from Berlin to Leipzig.

A total of 24 times, NASA team wants to hunt ir spacecraft through sun atmosphere. It will have to withstand temperatures of around 1,370 degrees Celsius. Why spacecraft will not melt? There are four main precautions:

  • It is protected by a carbon tank. More specifically, a 11.4 centimeter thick heat shield made of carbon fiber composites.
  • The probe is quite clever: autonomous software keeps inner systems cool by checking wher heat shield is properly aligned. If not, probe corrects it independently.
  • Then re is also a specially developed cooling system with running water.
  • And finally, heat is not same as temperature. Heat is energy transfer, temperature is a measured value (see info box above), which reduces load.
Parker Solar-How NASA wants to explore solar corona for first time, a spacecraft should carry out measurements in outermost atmosphere layer of sun. Temperatures of well over 1,000 degrees Celsius prevail re. © PHOTO: Reuters TV
Updated Date: 11 August 2018, 12:00

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