Author Topic: Delta IV-H - Parker Solar Probe (aka Solar Probe Plus) - SLC-37 - July 31, 2018  (Read 21291 times)

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.

Offline StarTracker

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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.

Online EgorBotts

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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.

Offline TrueBlueWitt

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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 »

Online kenny008

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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 »

Offline vapour_nudge

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

Offline Star One

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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

Offline fthomassy

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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

Offline Firehawk153

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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...

Offline Jim

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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

Online ChrisGebhardt

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Announcement starting momentarily.

Online ChrisGebhardt

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

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