Author Topic: Delta IV-H - Parker Solar Probe (aka Solar Probe Plus) - SLC-37 - July 31, 2018  (Read 21290 times)

Online Chris Bergin

March 18, 2015
NASA Awards Launch Services Contract for Solar Probe Plus Mission

NASA has selected United Launch Services, LLC, of Centennial, Colorado, to provide launch services for the agency’s Solar Probe Plus (SPP) mission.

The SPP spacecraft will launch aboard a Delta IV Heavy rocket from Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Launch is targeted for July 31, 2018, at the opening of a 20-day launch period. The total contract award amount for launch services is $389.1 million.

SPP will be the first mission to fly through the sun’s outer atmosphere -- the solar corona -- to examine two fundamental aspects of solar physics: why the corona is so much hotter than the sun’s surface, and what accelerates the solar wind that affects Earth and our solar system. Understanding these fundamental phenomena has been a top-priority science goal for more than five decades. SPP will orbit the sun 24 times, closing to within 3.9 million miles of its surface with the help of seven Venus flybys.

The Launch Services Program at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida is responsible for management and oversight of the Delta IV Heavy launch services for SPP. The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory is designing and building the spacecraft for NASA’s Living with a Star Program, managed by the agency’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

For more information about NASA programs and missions, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/
« Last Edit: 05/31/2017 03:41 PM by ChrisGebhardt »


Offline Star One

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Delta IV-H - Solar Probe Plus (SPP) - SLC-37 - July 31, 2018
« Reply #2 on: 03/19/2015 06:43 AM »
Oh so they did go for the Delta IV-H in the end. Did think Falcon 9H was unlikely because of its newness as a launcher also the lack of relevant upper stage needed due to high energy needs of this launch. As a general point it will be good to see the Heavy on another rare civilian launch.

@Chris good article.:)
« Last Edit: 03/19/2015 06:47 AM by Star One »

Offline newpylong

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They can't sign a contract now for something that may or may not be available or certified for launch.
« Last Edit: 03/19/2015 11:58 AM by newpylong »

Offline Kim Keller

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They can't sign a contract now for something that may or may not be available or certified for launch.

Actually, yes, they can. SpaceX/JASON-3, Atlas V/MRO (401) & Pluto New Horizons (551), and OSC/OCO are perfect examples. All three four missions were contracted before certification.
« Last Edit: 03/19/2015 01:22 PM by Kim Keller »

Offline Star One

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They can't sign a contract now for something that may or may not be available or certified for launch.

Actually, yes, they can. SpaceX/JASON-3, Atlas V/MRO & Pluto New Horizons, and OSC/OCO are perfect examples. All three were contracted before certification.

Thanks I thought that was the case & the poster above was incorrect in their interpretation on this.

Offline AS_501

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Interesting that so much propulsive energy will be needed to take the probe near the Sun, given that it will be falling into the Sun's gravity well.  Was the same true for Messenger?

Offline Kim Keller

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Interesting that so much propulsive energy will be needed to take the probe near the Sun, given that it will be falling into the Sun's gravity well.  Was the same true for Messenger?

Yes. Messenger made a total of 6 planetary flybys in order to decelerate enough for Mercury orbit insertion.

Offline PahTo

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Good stuff and good article.  Wow, a Star-48 on a D-IVH--that's noteworthy in itself.  Is the need for such a big LV due to the mass of the spacecraft?  I imagine to fly through the corona will require plenty of shielding/mass.

Offline Skyrocket

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I presume, the Star-48 will be a Star-48BV version. The development of the Star-48GXV, which was to be used with Solar Probe on the originally planned Atlas-V(551), has been stopped to to high costs.
« Last Edit: 03/19/2015 02:26 PM by Skyrocket »

Offline ugordan

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Wow, a Star-48 on a D-IVH--that's noteworthy in itself.  Is the need for such a big LV due to the mass of the spacecraft?

It's a lightweight spacecraft. It's just that the delta-V requirement is huge and is enough to bring *any* chemical propulsion system down to its knees.

Offline baldusi

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Delta IV Heavy + Star-48 and they still need seven Venus flybys? Wow, that's a lot of delta-v.
BTW, now ULA will be able to say "from the Sun to Pluto, we can launch your payload". You do have to give them that.
But I still wonder if there was a developed SEP stage if it wouldn't work better for inner solar system missions (like a Mercury lander or a polar solar probe.

Offline AS_501

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My guess is that shielding will be essential not only for high temperatures, but to protect against charged particles from Solar flares/CMEs, gamma and x-rays, etc.  If the Sun can rattle the electronic nerves of a geostationary satellite 93 million miles away, imagine what it could do to a much closer spacecraft.

Offline Sam Ho

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NASA is beginning the process of procuring a launch vehicle for solar probe plus: https://www.fbo.gov/?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=3060e9441252d36ffceae289a1fef314&tab=core&_cview=0 . The mass is 685 kg and the C3 is 154 km^2/s^2. I believe this is beyond what Falcon 9 can handle, even with a kick stage. The solicitation requires "at least one successful flight of the common launch vehicle configuration...prior to the proposal due date, which is anticipated to be September 2014," and Falcon Heavy isn't expected to launch until 2015, so it looks like SpaceX will not be eligible to bid. Presumably an Atlas will win.

It wouldn't be an Atlas because such a solicitation is not needed to buy an Atlas. Atlas is already on the NLS II contract.

Here's where the solicitation for this launch was discussed.

Offline Jim

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The Star-48 is part of the spacecraft and not the launch vehicle.

Offline Sam Ho

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I find, so I share:

https://dnnpro.outer.jhuapl.edu/Portals/35/ISSFD24_Paper_Release/ISSFD24_Paper_S6-2_Guo.pdf

Quote
The launch energy is much higher than most interplanetary missions and requires a powerful three-stage launch system. The maximum launch C3 over the 20-day launch period is 154 km2/s2. The baseline launch system is an EELV (Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle) Delta IV Heavy class launch vehicle with a standard Star 48 BV upper stage. During the Phase B development, an EELV Atlas V 551 launch vehicle was assumed. The recent switch to the more powerful Delta IV Heavy class launch vehicle will allow for more launch mass and increase spacecraft mass margin for the Phase C development.

They were playing around with an enhanced Star-48 at one point (trying to keep it on Atlas).

Also from the SPP thread, the D4H with Star 48BV just selected has been the baseline vehicle throughout Phase C work.

Offline zubenelgenubi

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I presume, the Star-48 will be a Star-48BV version. The development of the Star-48GXV, which was to be used with Solar Probe on the originally planned Atlas-V(551), has been stopped to to high costs.
Has there been any news or explanation as to why the Star-48GXV development became too expensive?
And how expensive is too expensive?

My (limited) understanding is that Star-48 motors are mature technology.

Curious,
Zubenelgenubi
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Offline Jim

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I presume, the Star-48 will be a Star-48BV version. The development of the Star-48GXV, which was to be used with Solar Probe on the originally planned Atlas-V(551), has been stopped to to high costs.
Has there been any news or explanation as to why the Star-48GXV development became too expensive?
And how expensive is too expensive?

My (limited) understanding is that Star-48 motors are mature technology.


Only Star-48's with fixed nozzles are mature.

Offline Skyrocket

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I presume, the Star-48 will be a Star-48BV version. The development of the Star-48GXV, which was to be used with Solar Probe on the originally planned Atlas-V(551), has been stopped to to high costs.
Has there been any news or explanation as to why the Star-48GXV development became too expensive?
And how expensive is too expensive?

My (limited) understanding is that Star-48 motors are mature technology.


Only Star-48's with fixed nozzles are mature.

And the Star-48GXV is more or less a completely new motor, with graphite composite case, a lightweight carbon-carbon exit cone and a new consumable igniter.

Offline ZachS09

Has the Star-48BV ever flown before? Or is the 48B the only flown variant?
"Liftoff of Falcon 9: the world's first reflight of an orbital class rocket."

Offline Skyrocket

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Has the Star-48BV ever flown before? Or is the 48B the only flown variant?

It has flown twice on the Minotaur-4+ and the Minotaur-5 launch vehicles.

Offline ZachS09

Is the only difference a TVC nozzle on the 48BV variant?
"Liftoff of Falcon 9: the world's first reflight of an orbital class rocket."

Offline Sam Ho

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Is the only difference a TVC nozzle on the 48BV variant?

From the Orbital ATK Motor Catalog (p104):
Quote
The STAR 48BV has been qualified (1993) as an upper stage for EER System’s Conestoga Vehicle. The STAR 48V is derived from the highly successful STAR 48B (TE-M-711 series) rocket motor. The STAR 48V provides the same range of total impulse as the STAR 48B with the long exit cone and includes an electromechanically actuated flexseal nozzle thrust vector control system for use on a nonspinning spacecraft. Case attachment features can be modified or relocated for varying applications without requalification.

http://www.orbitalatk.com/flight-systems/propulsion-systems/GEM-strapon-booster-system/docs/orbital_atk_motor_catalog_(2012).pdf

Online Helodriver

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Is the only difference a TVC nozzle on the 48BV variant?

From the Orbital ATK Motor Catalog (p104):
Quote
The STAR 48BV has been qualified (1993) as an upper stage for EER System’s Conestoga Vehicle. The STAR 48V is derived from the highly successful STAR 48B (TE-M-711 series) rocket motor. The STAR 48V provides the same range of total impulse as the STAR 48B with the long exit cone and includes an electromechanically actuated flexseal nozzle thrust vector control system for use on a nonspinning spacecraft. Case attachment features can be modified or relocated for varying applications without requalification.

http://www.orbitalatk.com/flight-systems/propulsion-systems/GEM-strapon-booster-system/docs/orbital_atk_motor_catalog_(2012).pdf


Qualified on Conestoga?!  Well shoot, that's all the data you need right there! ;)

Offline ZachS09

If Conestoga did not self-destruct on its October 1995 mission, then the Star-48BV stage would have made its debut ahead of time.
"Liftoff of Falcon 9: the world's first reflight of an orbital class rocket."

Offline .gif

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Oh so they did go for the Delta IV-H in the end. Did think Falcon 9H was unlikely because of its newness as a launcher also the lack of relevant upper stage needed due to high energy needs of this launch. As a general point it will be good to see the Heavy on another rare civilian launch.

@Chris good article.:)
SpaceX was probably allowed to compete for the contract just as a courtesy.  They really had no shot at winning it since Falcon Heavy hasn't even flown once yet.  I'm not even sure Falcon Heavy would have the required performance to launch this mission.  For ULA to say it won a "competitive procurement" is probably just a way of rubbing it in.

Offline Jim

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SpaceX was probably allowed to compete for the contract just as a courtesy.  They really had no shot at winning it since Falcon Heavy hasn't even flown once yet.  I'm not even sure Falcon Heavy would have the required performance to launch this mission.  For ULA to say it won a "competitive procurement" is probably just a way of rubbing it in.

If that were true, NASA could have done a sole source justification and not gone through a source competition.

Offline enzo

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Front page article on GPS IIF-9 states "Due to SPP’s required target orbit, the Delta IV Heavy is the only qualified rocket in the US fleet capable of launching it, and only with the aid of a Star 48B upper stage."
So, does this include F9H? It's technically not "in the US fleet" but....

Offline jacqmans

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Orbital ATK Teams with ULA to Launch NASA's Solar Probe Plus Mission

Delta IV Heavy Capability to be Augmented by Orbital ATK Third Stage

(Dulles, Virginia 3 April 2015) – Orbital ATK (NYSE: OA) is teamed with United Launch Alliance (ULA) to launch NASA’s Solar Probe Plus (SPP) mission on ULA’s Delta IV Heavy rocket. A fully integrated third stage provided by Orbital ATK will give the spacecraft the high-energy boost needed to send it on its mission to study the Sun’s outer atmosphere.

Orbital ATK’s third stage leverages flight-proven inertial navigation, avionics, attitude control and separation systems used on the company’s Pegasus®, Minotaur and Minotaur-C launch vehicles. The venerable STARTM 48BV rocket motor, which traces its roots back to the 1980s, will provide the propulsion. The STAR 48 motor series has logged more than 130 successful missions.

“One of Orbital ATK’s strengths is providing new launch capabilities that leverage flight-proven subsystems,” said Ron Grabe, President of Orbital ATK’s Flight Systems Group. “We are proud to team with ULA to augment the Delta IV Heavy for this very challenging mission.”

After separating from the launch vehicle’s second stage, Orbital ATK’s third stage motor will ignite and accelerate the SPP spacecraft, making it one of the fastest man-made objects in history. During the motor’s nominal burn time of 81 seconds, Orbital ATK’s flight computer and guidance control system will guide the SPP observatory on its way to an elliptical orbit around the Sun. The observatory, using several gravity assists from Venus, will ultimately pass within 10 solar radii of the Sun, many times closer to the sun than the planet Mercury.

The Orbital ATK stage is being designed specifically to support the challenging SPP mission. When vertically integrated, it will measure approximately seven feet tall and four-and-a-half feet in diameter. The stage will be developed at the company’s facilities in Dulles, Virginia; Chandler, Arizona; and Elkton, Maryland.

In addition to the third stage, Orbital ATK’s contributions to the Delta IV Heavy launch vehicle include cutting-edge technologies from across the company. These include 12 key composite structures, manufactured using advanced layup, machining and

inspection techniques in Iuka, Mississippi, and Clearfield, Utah; the RS-68 rocket engine’s nozzle, manufactured in Promontory, Utah; the booster separation rocket motors, manufactured in Rocket Center, West Virginia; and the diaphragm propellant tanks, manufactured in Commerce, California.

The SPP mission, which will enter the Sun’s outer atmosphere to study the streams of charged particles the Sun hurls into space, is scheduled to launch in 2018. The SPP spacecraft is being developed at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland. SPP is part of NASA’s “Living with a Star” program, managed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.

Offline StarTracker

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http://www.jhuapl.edu/newscenter/pressreleases/2016/160714.asp
Quote
July 14, 2016

Solar Probe Plus Mission Moves into Advanced Development

NASA’s first mission to “touch” the sun has passed a critical development milestone that keeps it well on track toward its scheduled summer 2018 launch.

Following a successful NASA management review on July 7, the Solar Probe Plus mission — which will send a spacecraft on several daring data-collecting runs through the sun’s atmosphere — is moving into the system assembly, integration, test and launch stage of the project. NASA terms this period as Phase D, during which the mission team will finish building the spacecraft, install its science instruments, test it under simulated launch and space conditions, and launch it.

“Reaching this stage means a lot to the team and our stakeholders,” said Andy Driesman, Solar Probe Plus project manager at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), which manages the mission for NASA and is building the spacecraft. “It shows we’ve designed a spacecraft, instruments and a mission that can address the engineering challenges associated with the harsh solar environment, and send back the data that scientists have sought for decades. It’s humbling to see designs and ideas start to become a spacecraft.”

Solar Probe Plus is set to launch during a 20-day window that opens July 31, 2018. Over 24 orbits, the spacecraft will use seven flybys of Venus to reduce its distance from the sun. The closest three orbits will be within 3.9 million miles of the sun’s surface — roughly seven times closer than any spacecraft has come to our star — where it will face solar intensity more than 500 times what spacecraft experience while orbiting Earth.

This mission of extreme exploration will provide new data on solar activity and contribute significantly to our ability to forecast major space-weather events that impact life on Earth. The primary science goals for Solar Probe Plus are to trace the flow of energy from and understand the heating of the sun’s outer atmosphere — its corona — and to explore the physical mechanisms that accelerate the solar wind, the continuous stream of charged and energetic particles flowing out from the sun. To do that requires sending a probe through the corona to better understand the solar wind and the material it carries into our solar system. It’s been a goal of scientists for nearly 60 years, one that is only possible today through cutting-edge thermal engineering advances.

Solar Probe Plus will carry four instrument suites designed to study magnetic fields, plasma and energetic particles, and image the solar wind. The spacecraft and instruments will be protected from the sun’s heat by a 4.5-inch-thick carbon-composite shield, which will need to withstand temperatures that reach nearly 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit — but keep the spacecraft’s payload operating at room temperature.

Solar Probe Plus 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. APL, in Laurel, Maryland, manages the mission for NASA and is designing and building and will operate the spacecraft.

Media contacts:

Michael Buckley, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, 240-228-7536, michael.buckley@jhuapl.edu

Dwayne Brown, NASA Headquarters, 202-358-1726, dwayne.c.brown@nasa.gov

Karen Fox, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, 301-286-6284, karen.c.fox@nasa.gov

The Applied Physics Laboratory, a not-for-profit division of The Johns Hopkins University, meets critical national challenges through the innovative application of science and technology. For more information, visit www.jhuapl.edu.

Offline vapour_nudge

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Now at 550 days until launch.

Offline MATTBLAK

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Always like watching a Delta IV-Heavy launch - that's one heck of a rocket. I've always wanted it to become America's primary heavy lift launcher from Constellation onwards. Lots of potential there.
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Offline M_Puckett

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Will the probe be getting any gravity assists?

Offline russianhalo117

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Will the probe be getting any gravity assists?
yes, read reply 29 for details.

Offline ZachS09

http://www.orbithangar.com/searchid.php?ID=6473

One of many Orbiter simulator addons, Solar Probe, includes a fictional launch scenario of SPP atop an Atlas V 551, which is on July 30, 2018 at 09:43 UTC (5:43 AM EDT). However, the actual launch date is one day later on the 31st and the Delta IV Heavy will boost SPP.

Having explained all that, I ask one question:

Will Solar Probe Plus launch in the early morning of July 31, 2018 or is the time of day earlier or later?
« Last Edit: 12/27/2016 05:30 AM by ZachS09 »
"Liftoff of Falcon 9: the world's first reflight of an orbital class rocket."

Offline russianhalo117

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http://www.orbithangar.com/searchid.php?ID=6473

One of many Orbiter simulator addons, Solar Probe, includes a fictional launch scenario of SPP atop an Atlas V 551, which is on July 30, 2018 at 09:43 UTC (5:43 AM EDT). However, the actual launch date is one day later on the 31st and the Delta IV Heavy will boost SPP.

Having explained all that, I ask one question:

Will Solar Probe Plus launch in the early morning of July 31, 2018 or is the time of day earlier or later?
It is also the first time that a D-IV version of any type will sport a third stage with the SRM version being a Star-48BV.

Offline Skyrocket

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http://www.orbithangar.com/searchid.php?ID=6473

One of many Orbiter simulator addons, Solar Probe, includes a fictional launch scenario of SPP atop an Atlas V 551, which is on July 30, 2018 at 09:43 UTC (5:43 AM EDT). However, the actual launch date is one day later on the 31st and the Delta IV Heavy will boost SPP.

Having explained all that, I ask one question:

Will Solar Probe Plus launch in the early morning of July 31, 2018 or is the time of day earlier or later?
It is also the first time that a D-IV version of any type will sport a third stage with the SRM version being a Star-48BV.
Not quite - the two DSCS-3 launches used IABS as third stages. But anyway, all third stages on Delta IV are considered part of the payload.

Offline Jim

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A spacecraft supplied stage is not considered part of the Launch vehicle.  Whereas, SPP will use a Delta IV with a third stage, because ULA is supplying it.  PNH supplied its own motor and it was not part of the Atlas V.  The determining factor is who does the integration of the "stage" with the spacecraft and who buys the hardware for the stage.
« Last Edit: 12/27/2016 04:00 PM by Jim »

Offline Star One

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A spacecraft supplied stage is not considered part of the Launch vehicle.  Whereas, SPP will use a Delta IV with a third stage, because ULA is supplying it.  PNH supplied its own motor and it was not part of the Atlas V.  The determining factor is who does the integration of the "stage" with the spacecraft and who buys the hardware for the stage.

New Horizons is marked as a three stage launch as it used a Star upper stage on the Atlas V.

Offline Jim

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By who?

Offline Star One

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Next Stop: A Trip Inside the Sun's Atmosphere

Quote
Every so often the sun emits an explosive burst of charged particles that makes its way to Earth and often wreaks havoc on power grids, aircraft and satellite systems. When clouds of high-speed charged particles come racing off the sun, they can bathe spacecraft, astronauts and planetary surfaces in damaging radiation. Understanding why the sun occasionally emits these high-energy particles can help scientists predict space weather. Knowing when solar energetic particles may hit Earth can help people on the planet take precautions.

Now, Draper and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) are addressing these challenges, and hoping to untangle these unsolved science mysteries, by developing sophisticated sensors for a new NASA mission. Launching in 2018, NASA's Solar Probe Plus spacecraft, which is being designed and built by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., will make 24 solar flybys over nearly seven years, setting a new record for the fastest moving man-made object as it zips 37.6 million kilometers closer to the sun than any spacecraft that has ever studied this star, and be exposed to temperatures exceeding 2500 degrees Fahrenheit.

NASA's Solar Probe Plus—the first mission that will fly into the sun's upper atmosphere and "touch" the sun—will collect data on the mechanisms that heat the corona and accelerate the solar wind, a constant flow of charged particles from the sun. These are two processes with fundamental roles in the complex interconnected system linking the sun and near-Earth space—a system that can drive changes in our space weather and impact our satellites.

https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/news/2017-12

Offline smfarmer11

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I'm just slightly nostalgic about this being the probable last time a delta vehicle with a star48 will fly.

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Offline MattMason

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NASA - Solar Probe Plus - July 2018
« Reply #43 on: 05/02/2017 08:38 AM »
Solar Probe Plus is scheduled to launch July 31, 2018 atop one of the last Delta IV Heavy launch vehicles.

It's mission: Approach the sun and explore the mysteries of its corona, nearing the star as close as 3.9 million miles (6.2 million km). To do this, it's going to require a state-of-the-art thermal protection system that shields from temperatures as high as 2,500 degrees F (1,377 C).

To adjust its course, SPP will make 7 flybys of Venus. The wide orbits between Venus and the sun will take place over the probe's expected mission duration of over 6 years, well into 2025.

I'm officially interested in SPP because of a recent bit of awesomeness I've experienced.

Thanks to the "Space Hipsters" Facebook club, I toured the United Launch Alliance rocket factory on April 28. While we weren't allowed to take photos on the tour, we were shown all three cores of SPP's Delta IV Heavy, as well as the Atlas Vs that would launch TDRS-M and a few other missions in the near future. Since the D-IV uses H2/O2, its stage's volume made the otherwise-impressive Atlas Vs, which use RP-1 and O2, look outright skinny.

Sitting not far away was a large white shipping box from NPO Energomash: Engines for the Atlas V. The TDRS-M launch vehicle sat, mostly complete, with a pair of the engines with their gray nozzles.

As we know, the Delta rockets are being phased out. As this construction ends, ULA had made a couple of spots for welding machines for use with Vulcan construction as well as CST-100 Starliner work. Sadly, no Starliners there yet.

ULA builds all the rockets from aluminum plate at the factory, water-cut to form a triangular grid on one side that reinforces the vehicle's thickness while saving weight. These flat sheets are rounded to the desired dimensions. Tanks are created from aluminum sheets no thicker than a US dime coin. Both domes and sides are welded once complete. The Centaur's tanks are so light, they must reside in special frames as they cannot support their own weight.

Also on the tour were construction and pressure testing of the Centaur upper stages. In a special clean room sat the Centaur for SPP and four other missions.

It's one thing to visit a museum, see replicas of rockets and simulators of past spacecraft and never-flown vehicles of times gone by. But I have seen SPP's massive rocket, up-close enough to touch it, getting to see everything save the probe itself, built elsewhere. It's humbling to see real rockets that will fly, built from the ground up, as close as I did. An incredible day.

Mission website: http://solarprobe.jhuapl.edu/index.php

(I'm the guy with the streamlined head and crossed arms to the left of center of the crowd.)

One of side cores of SPP are left of the photo. Atlas V cores are to the right.
« Last Edit: 05/02/2017 08:41 AM by MattMason »
"Why is the logo on the side of a rocket so important?"
"So you can find the pieces." -Jim, the Steely Eyed

Offline catdlr

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    May 26, 2017
MEDIA ADVISORY M17-061
NASA to Make Announcement About First Mission to Touch Sun

Solar Probe Plus spacecraft leaving Earth

This illustration depicts the Solar Probe Plus spacecraft leaving Earth, after separating from its launch vehicle and booster rocket, bound for the inner solar system and an unprecedented study of the Sun.
Credits: JHU/APL
NASA will make an announcement about the agency’s first mission to fly directly into our sun’s atmosphere during an event at 11 a.m. EDT Wednesday, May 31, from the University of Chicago’s William Eckhardt Research Center Auditorium. The event will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

The mission, Solar Probe Plus, is scheduled to launch in the summer of 2018. Placed in orbit within four million miles of the sun’s surface, and facing heat and radiation unlike any spacecraft in history, 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.

Participants include:

Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington
Nicola Fox, mission project scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland
Eugene Parker, S. Chandrasekhar Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago
Eric Isaacs, executive vice president for research, innovation and national laboratories at the University of Chicago
Rocky Kolb, dean of the Division of the Physical Sciences at the University of Chicago
For more information on the mission and agency solar-related activities, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov/sun

-end-
Tony De La Rosa

Offline Star One

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Wonder what's that all about.

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Maybe change of launch vehicle?

[speculation]Launch vehicle changed from Delta IV Heavy to Falcon Heavy. The Delta IV Heavy gets transferred to an Orion LEO mission.[/speculation]
« Last Edit: 05/27/2017 06:24 AM by Steven Pietrobon »
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline Star One

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Maybe change of launch vehicle?

[speculation]Launch vehicle changed from Delta IV Heavy to Falcon Heavy. The Delta IV Heavy gets transferred to an Orion LEO mission.[/speculation]

The Falcon Heavy would still be too unproven for this flagship mission in 2018 I suspect.

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Maybe change of launch vehicle?

[speculation]Launch vehicle changed from Delta IV Heavy to Falcon Heavy. The Delta IV Heavy gets transferred to an Orion LEO mission.[/speculation]

I think this would not be a good sign for the mission schedule: there are already a significant number of FH flights waiting for 2017-18 even without being late.
At t-0 minus 1 year, change of vehicle would also be challenging in terms of payload adapter vibration testing, acoustic testing, mission profile... I guess it would be too much change in the given timeframe.

My 2 cents is they will just announce the spaceship is complete and they are getting in final testing and preps.

Offline Star One

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Maybe change of launch vehicle?

[speculation]Launch vehicle changed from Delta IV Heavy to Falcon Heavy. The Delta IV Heavy gets transferred to an Orion LEO mission.[/speculation]

I think this would not be a good sign for the mission schedule: there are already a significant number of FH flights waiting for 2017-18 even without being late.
At t-0 minus 1 year, change of vehicle would also be challenging in terms of payload adapter vibration testing, acoustic testing, mission profile... I guess it would be too much change in the given timeframe.

My 2 cents is they will just announce the spaceship is complete and they are getting in final testing and preps.

That seems like overkill for this kind of announcement.

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Maybe change of launch vehicle?

[speculation]Launch vehicle changed from Delta IV Heavy to Falcon Heavy. The Delta IV Heavy gets transferred to an Orion LEO mission.[/speculation]

The Falcon Heavy would still be too unproven for this flagship mission in 2018 I suspect.

Could you do this with an Expendable F9 Block 4/5?.. With added Star 48 the high thrust F9 2nd stage might help you.

Maybe if they'd  gone this way...

From Wikipedia :
In 2013 a Star 48GXV was tested for the Solar Probe Plus mission as the upper stage on a Atlas V 551 vehicle,[13] but the development was cancelled, in favor of a Delta IV Heavy / Star 48BV conbination.[14]
« Last Edit: 05/27/2017 12:32 PM by TrueBlueWitt »

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Why would this have anything to do with the launch vehicle?  I'm trying to remember the last NASA science mission that held a special announcement to discuss the launch vehicle. The panelists are investigators.
I think there are MUCH better reasons to hold a special science misssion announcement besides a launch vehicle update.
« Last Edit: 05/27/2017 01:15 PM by kenny008 »

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Perhaps this mission too has just shaved a year or two of its cruise stage?

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Perhaps this mission too has just shaved a year or two of its cruise stage?

I didn't think that was possible because of mission requirement.

Offline Robotbeat

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What if they announce the discovery of water ON THE SUN. 😂
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

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What if they announce the discovery of water ON THE SUN. 😂
That's old news ::)
http://www.jstor.org/stable/2888375?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
gyatm . . . Fern

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What if they announce the discovery of water ON THE SUN. 😂

All these worlds are yours except the Sun...attempt no landings there...

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Maybe change of launch vehicle?

[speculation]Launch vehicle changed from Delta IV Heavy to Falcon Heavy. The Delta IV Heavy gets transferred to an Orion LEO mission.[/speculation]

No such thing

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Announcement starting momentarily.

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Presser started.  Just doing intros.
« Last Edit: 05/31/2017 03:05 PM by ChrisGebhardt »

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If they're not naming the probe after him, then the whole first 15mins of this event doesn't make sense.

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Confirmed.  NASA is naming the Solar Probe Plus after Gene Parker, making him the first scientist to have a probe named after him while he is still alive.  He turns 90 in a few days.


The probe will now be known as the Parker Solar Probe.  A lot of history in the man and his work... and for this upcoming mission to uncover.
« Last Edit: 05/31/2017 03:27 PM by ChrisGebhardt »

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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.

Learn More

nasa.gov/solarprobe
http://solarprobe.jhuapl.edu
« Last Edit: 05/31/2017 05:13 PM by Star One »

Offline Star One

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Following on this announcement in the U.K. BBC Radio 5 will be debating space exploration.

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What time?
Schedule and topics not yet updated. Monitor http://www.bbc.co.uk/5live/programmes/schedules for more information or ring their toll free hotline to get an answer.

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What time?

Sorry it was just starting when I posted. My apologies.

At least all their guests were knowledgeable. They even had someone on from REL.

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Quote
The ride for #SolarProbePlus is getting ready at @ulalaunch #Decatur. Such a great team getting Mighty Delta ready for launch. @torybruno

https://twitter.com/julia_bergeron/status/869971256069824512

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Had the opportunity to attend today's event at the University of Chicago.  Was an honor getting to meet Professor Parker in person.

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NASA names Unique Solar Mission after University of Chicago Physicist Eugene Parker

NASA
Published on May 31, 2017
SUBSCRIBED 1.2M

On May 31, NASA renamed humanity’s first mission to fly a spacecraft directly into the sun’s atmosphere in honor of Professor Eugene Parker, a pioneering physicist at the University of Chicago. This is the first time in agency history a spacecraft has been named for a living individual. Parker, the S. Chandrasekhar Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in Physics, is best known for developing the concept of solar wind—the stream of electrically charged particles emitted by the sun.

Previously named Solar Probe Plus, the Parker Solar Probe will launch in summer 2018. Placed in orbit within four million miles of the sun’s surface, and facing heat and radiation unlike any spacecraft in history, 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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRyKWzTT6kg?t=001

Tony De La Rosa

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The Robust Cooling System of a NASA Spacecraft Flying Into the Sun's Atmosphere

The Parker Solar Probe requires some clever engineering to keep the systems cool.

Quote
Interestingly enough, the prefered coolant for the spacecraft's solar panels is water. "Part of the NASA technology demonstration funding was used by APL and our partners at UTAS to survey a variety of coolants," said Mary Kae Lockwood, the Parker Solar Probe spacecraft system engineer at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab (APL). "But for the temperature range we required [about 50° F to 257° F], and for the mass constraints, water was the solution."

The water will be pressurized, which will raise its boiling point above 257° F, and a deionization process will strip the water of any minerals that could gum up the system. Although the TPS will get as hot as 2,500° F, the cooling system is designed to keep the solar panels at a functional 360° F or lower. Flying through the sun's atmosphere, the panels will 25 times the solar energy that panels receive in Earth orbit.

Using a solar array for a craft heading to the sun sounds obvious, but figuring out how to keep the panels from being destroyed in the intense heat is more complicated. There will be a standard cover of glass protecting the photovoltaic cells as well as a special ceramic carrier soldered onto the bottom of each cell. The ceramic substrate, called a platen, will then be glued on with a thermally conductive adhesive.

Quote
"There's no way to make these adjustments from the ground, which means it has to guide itself," Lockwood said. "APL developed a variety of systems—including wing angle control, guidance and control, electrical power system, avionics, fault management, autonomy and flight software—that are critical parts working with the solar array cooling system." The Parker Solar Probe is expected to be one of the most autonomous spacecraft ever launched, if not the most autonomous.

http://www.popularmechanics.com/space/satellites/a27107/parker-solar-probe-cooling-system-sun-atmosphere/
« Last Edit: 06/30/2017 09:28 AM by Star One »

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Delta IV Heavy Booster Cores Arrive for Parker Solar Probe
Posted on August 2, 2017 at 1:55 pm by Anna Heiney.

Launch preparations are beginning to get off the ground for NASA’s upcoming Parker Solar Probe mission, scheduled to lift off in summer 2018 atop a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket.

Two of the three common booster cores comprising the rocket’s first stage have arrived on the company’s Mariner ship, which delivered the components to Port Canaveral in Florida. From there the cores were offloaded and transported to the Horizontal Processing Facility at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 37.

The Parker Solar Probe will perform the closest-ever observations of a star when it travels through the Sun’s atmosphere, called the corona. The probe will rely on measurements and imaging to revolutionize our understanding of the corona and the Sun-Earth connection.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/kennedy/2017/08/02/delta-iv-heavy-booster-cores-arrive-for-parker-solar-probe/

First photo caption:

Quote
Framed by a series of cabbage palms, a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy common booster core is transported by truck to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Launch Complex 37 Horizontal Processing Facility after arriving at Port Canaveral. The Delta IV Heavy will launch NASA’s upcoming Parker Solar Probe mission.
Photo credits: NASA/Kim Shiflett

Offline zubenelgenubi

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Quote
<snip>
Launch preparations are beginning to get off the ground for NASA’s upcoming Parker Solar Probe mission, scheduled to lift off in summer 2018 atop a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket.

Two of the three common booster cores comprising the rocket’s first stage have arrived on the company’s Mariner ship, which delivered the components to Port Canaveral in Florida. From there the cores were offloaded and transported to the Horizontal Processing Facility at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 37.
<snip>

Do two of three Delta IV cores max-out the capacity of the Delta Mariner?

If not, was there any other Delta or Atlas hardware transported on this run?
***

Also, there's only ONE Delta IV Canaveral launch currently scheduled between now and Solar Probe Plus on July 31, 2018--GPS III-1.
« Last Edit: 08/03/2017 05:31 PM by zubenelgenubi »
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Offline Newton_V

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Also, there's only ONE Delta IV Canaveral launch currently scheduled between now and Solar Probe Plus on July 31, 2018--GPS III-1.

SPP is flying before GPS.

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Do two of three Delta IV cores max-out the capacity of the Delta Mariner?

If not, was there any other Delta or Atlas hardware transported on this run?
***


I think I remember seeing/reading a couple years ago that they/she can carry two CBCs and one Atlas as max volume.  There may have even been a picture of same.  No idea on your second question.

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Delta Mariner was designed for 3 CBCs.
Quote
The Mariner can carry up to three common booster cores, which are as long as a 737 airline fuselage each.
http://www.ulalaunch.com/united-launch-alliance-continues.aspx

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Delta Mariner was designed for 3 CBCs.
Quote
The Mariner can carry up to three common booster cores, which are as long as a 737 airline fuselage each.
http://www.ulalaunch.com/united-launch-alliance-continues.aspx

The 2 side Delta IV-H core stages EFT-1 Orion flight were delivered separately from the center core, as well.  Why, if there is capacity for all 3 core stages?
« Last Edit: 08/03/2017 08:06 PM by zubenelgenubi »
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Delta Mariner was designed for 3 CBCs.
Quote
The Mariner can carry up to three common booster cores, which are as long as a 737 airline fuselage each.
http://www.ulalaunch.com/united-launch-alliance-continues.aspx

The 2 side Delta IV-H core stages EFT-1 Orion flight were delivered separately from the center core, as well.  Why, if there is capacity for all 3 core stages?
Priority Atlas CCB in the middle slot onboard.

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Final Rocket Components Arrive in Florida for Parker Solar Probe
Posted on September 1, 2017 at 3:06 pm by Anna Heiney.

All components of the United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket that will launch NASA’s Parker Solar Probe have arrived for prelaunch processing at Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

The Port Common Booster Core of the Delta IV Heavy for the Parker Solar Probe (PSP) Mission is offloaded from the Mariner and transported to the Horizontal Integration Facility. The rocket’s second stage arrived Saturday, Aug. 26, along with the third and final common booster core, which will complete the first stage. The hardware was delivered by ship to Port Canaveral, then transported by truck to the Horizontal Integration Facility at Space Launch Complex 37.

The Parker Solar Probe will perform the closest-ever observations of a star when it travels through the Sun’s atmosphere, called the corona. The probe will rely on measurements and imaging to revolutionize our understanding of the corona and the Sun-Earth connection.

This entry was posted in Parker Solar Probe on September 1, 2017.

Caption for 1st photo:
Quote
A United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy common booster core arrives at the Horizontal Integration Facility at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for preflight processing. The Delta IV Heavy will launch NASA’s upcoming Parker Solar Probe mission.
Photo credit: NASA/Cory Huston

Caption for 2nd photo:
Quote
The Port Common Booster Core of the Delta IV Heavy for the Parker Solar Probe Mission is offloaded from the Mariner ship for transport to the Horizontal Integration Facility at Space Launch Complex 37.
Photo credit: NASA/Ben Smegelsky.

Caption for 3rd photo:
Quote
Sunrise is reflected in the side of the Mariner ship and in the water of Port Canaveral below.
Photo credit: NASA/Cory Huston
« Last Edit: 09/02/2017 01:09 AM by FutureSpaceTourist »

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September 20, 2017
MEDIA ADVISORY M17-108
Media Invited to View NASA Spacecraft That Will Touch Our Sun

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe will be humanity’s first-ever mission to explore the Sun’s outer atmosphere. Media are invited to see the spacecraft and learn about the mission from noon to 2 p.m. EDT Monday, Sept. 25, at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland, where the probe is being built.

The spacecraft will be in full flight configuration, complete with its revolutionary heat shield, and members of the engineering and science teams conducting this historical mission will be available for interviews.

Media who would like to attend must register with APL by sending an email with name, affiliation and cell phone number to aplpublicaffairs@jhuapl.edu no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 22. Instructions on attendance will be provided upon registration.

Due to facility limitations, the number of participants is limited, and the event is open only to U.S. citizens. The event will take place in a clean room. Attendees should allow additional time for cleaning of cameras and equipment by APL staff.

The spacecraft, about the size of a small car, will launch in mid-summer 2018. It will travel directly through the Sun's atmosphere about four million miles from our star's surface – facing heat and radiation unlike any spacecraft in history – and make critical observations to answer decades-old questions about how stars work. Mission data ultimately will improve forecasts of major space weather events that affect life on Earth, as well as satellites and astronauts in space.

To learn more about the mission, visit: 

https://www.nasa.gov/solarprobe

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Picture source: https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/thumbnails/image/psp.jpg
Tony De La Rosa

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