How NASA is able to fly Parker Solar Probe so close to Sun without melting

Earlier humans used to think that they are at the centre of the universe. However, as the Science developed, we realized we are just a part of a galaxy among indefinite galaxies in an ever expanding universe. The constant firestorms on the Sun are worrying the scientists and researchers on the earth as anything wrong with Sun can cause trouble on Earth.

In order to protect the Earth by unveiling the mysteries of dangerous solar storms, NASA had blasted off a $1.5 billion spacecraft toward the Sun recently.

Parker Solar Probe lit up the dark night sky aboard a Delta IV-Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida at 3:31 am (0731 GMT). This probe will pierce into the Sun’s atmosphere, known as the corona, during a seven-year mission.

It will be the closest man-made object to Sun. The sun is hundreds of times hotter than Earth. So the obvious question is how will the Probe survive?

NASA Parker Solar probe sun temperature satellite

The probe is guarded by an ultra-powerful heat shield that is just 4.5 inches (11.43 centimeters) thick, enabling the spacecraft to survive its close shave with the fiery star. The white shield reflects the heat and maintains the temperature inside.

Betsy Congdon, the lead engineer of the system explained that the shield contains carbon-carbon in the outer panels and carbon foam in the inner layer.

Another question arises on how the probe will balance itself since it is so far away from human control? The probe contains autonomy systems that sense the weather and control itself on its own. The water moves internally in the probe to stay cooler near the sun. If all works as planned, the inside of the spacecraft should stay at just 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Have a look at the video below to understand the working better.

The goal of the Parker Solar Probe is to make 24 passes through the corona during its seven-year mission. When it is near the Sun, the probe will travel rapidly like covering some 430,000 miles per hour, making it the fastest human-made object.


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