NASA’S Parker Solar Probe Completes 1stVenus Flyby of Venus (Download PDF)

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NASA’s Parker Solar Probe has successfully completed flyby of Venus at distance of abt 2,415 kms during its 1st gravity assist from planet. These gravity assists will help spacecraft tighten its orbit closer to Sun over course of mission.

Spacecraft in future will be carrying 6 Venus gravity assists over course of 7 year mission.

Image of Parker Solar Probe

Image of Parker Solar Probe

Image of Parker Solar Probe

Parker Solar Probe Mission

  • Parker Solar Probe is mankind’s 1st mission to study outer corona of Sun.

  • It was successfully launched in August 2018 for unprecedented 7 year long journey to unlock mysteries of Sun’s fiery outer atmosphere & its effects on space weather.

  • It is designed & built by NASA’s Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.

  • It is named after solar astrophysicist Eugene Parker, making it 1st spacecraft of NASA to be named after living person.

Scientific Goals

  • Determine structure & dynamics of magnetic fields at sources of solar wind.

  • Trace flow of energy that heats corona & accelerates solar wind.

  • Determine what mechanisms accelerate & transport energetic particles.

  • Explore dusty plasma near Sun & its influence on solar wind & energetic particle formation.

  • Parker Solar Probe will explore Sun’s outer atmosphere & make critical observations to answer questions abt physics of stars.

  • Its data will be useful in improving forecasts of major eruptions on Sun & subsequent space weather events that impact technology on Earth, as well as satellites & astronauts in space.

  • Probe is designed to endure harsh environment near Sun, by approaching w/i 8.5 solar radii (5.9 million kms) to ‘surface’ (photosphere) of Sun where incident solar intensity is approx. 520 times intensity at Earth orbit.

  • It will have mission life of 7 year.

  • It is fitted w/thermal protection system (TPS) or heat shield made of reinforced carbon-carbon composite that will allow it to survive temperatures in Sun’s corona.

  • It main systems & scientific instruments are located in central portion of shield’s shadow, where direct radiation from Sun is fully blocked.

National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA)

  • Formed in 1958,59 years ago.

  • Headquarter – Washington, U. S.

  • Led by – Jim Bridenstine

  • Motto – to reach for new heights & reveal unknown for benefit of humankind

- Published/Last Modified on: November 14, 2018

Science/Technology, Space/ISRO

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