Author Topic: Delta IV-H - Parker Solar Probe (aka Solar Probe Plus) - SLC-37 - July 31, 2018  (Read 40169 times)

Offline jacqmans

  • Moderator
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 17117
  • Houten, The Netherlands
  • Liked: 2829
  • Likes Given: 178
The first stage of a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket is at the Vertical Integration Facility near Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The Delta IV Heavy will launch NASA's upcoming Parker Solar Probe mission in July 2018. The mission 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. Photo credit: NASA/Ben Smegelsky

Offline Targeteer

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3722
  • near hangar 18
  • Liked: 871
  • Likes Given: 443
http://parkersolarprobe.jhuapl.edu/News-Center/Show-Article.php?articleID=75

Posted on 04/27/2018 14:00:57
NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is moved to a special stand and rotated down to a horizontal position on April 10 during pre-launch processing and testing at Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Florida, just outside Kennedy Space Center. Once horizontal, the integration and testing team measured the alignment of the Thermal Protection System (TPS) mounting points with respect to the spacecraft structure. This is done to assure that the umbra (or shadow) cast by the TPS – the heat shield – protects the spacecraft and instruments.

The first mission to touch the Sun – Parker Solar Probe will fly through the intense heat of the Sun’s corona, protected by a revolutionary heat shield – is scheduled for launch at about 4 a.m. on July 31, 2018.
Best quote heard during an inspection, "I was unaware that I was the only one who was aware."

Online FutureSpaceTourist

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5952
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 5351
  • Likes Given: 1509
Quote
Parker Solar Probe’s Launch Vehicle Rises at Space Launch Complex 37

On the morning of Tuesday, April 17, 2018, crews from United Launch Alliance raised the 170-foot tall Delta IV Heavy launch vehicle – the largest and most powerful rocket currently used by NASA – at Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. This Delta IV Heavy will carry Parker Solar Probe, humanity’s first mission to the Sun’s corona, on its journey to explore the Sun’s atmosphere and the solar wind. Launch is scheduled for approximately 4 a.m. EDT on July 31, 2018.

The launch vehicle consists of three Common Booster Cores, with a second stage on the center core; the encapsulated spacecraft, is scheduled to arrive in early July for integration onto the rocket. The spacecraft is now at Astrotech Space Operations in nearby Titusville undergoing final integration and testing. Parker Solar Probe will be the fastest human-made object in the solar system, traveling at speeds of up to 430,000 miles per hour (700,000 kilometers per hour).

By Geoff Brown

Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory

https://blogs.nasa.gov/parkersolarprobe/2018/04/26/parker-solar-probes-launch-vehicle-rises-at-space-launch-complex-37/

Offline gongora

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3116
  • US
  • Liked: 2502
  • Likes Given: 1523
From the 2018 GAO assessment of NASA projects

Quote
Cost and Schedule Status

The PSP project continues to target an August 2018
planetary launch, but the project is encountering a
number of technical issues that may lead to a schedule
delay. Maintaining the project’s 2018 launch window is
important because a potential window only opens every
10 months. The 2019 launch window would result in a
longer mission duration and require more fuel, and after
that, the next window that meets requirements is 2023.
The project continues to hold schedule reserves at Applied
Physics Laboratory-recommended levels, but the project
is tracking a risk that there may not be adequate reserves
to address any future issues that may arise. The project is
also tracking a risk that it may exhaust its cost reserves in
fiscal year 2018 addressing instrument issues and retaining
project staff, which could lead to the need for additional
headquarters-held cost reserves.

Launch

In September 2017, while testing the interface between
the launch vehicle and the spacecraft, three of the six
separation nuts failed to release their bolts. If this occurred
during launch, it would result in a total mission failure.
NASA’s Launch Services Program, which obtained launch
services for PSP, initiated an anomaly investigation. This
investigation determined that the bolts were improperly
installed. The investigation board identified corrective
actions, which have passed initial tests. The separation
system plan includes completing qualification testing by
April 2018 and includes schedule margin. However, if
additional issues are identified, the project could potentially
miss the 2018 launch window.

Integration and Test

The Solar Probe Cup (SPC), which is part of an instrument
package necessary to meet top-level mission requirements
to gather information about particles in the solar wind, has
encountered several technical issues during integration
and testing. For example, recent testing has identified
scenarios where the spacecraft’s different operating
temperature environments could result in twisting between
the SPC and spacecraft, which could lead to cracks over
time. To mitigate this risk, the project is conducting testing
to determine the scope of this issue. If twisting could occur
repeatedly throughout the mission, the project will consider
de-scoping the SPC, which would require approval from
NASA. The project plans to make a decision in March 2018
about whether to fly the SPC.

Other Issues to Be Monitored

The project is tracking a risk that an alloy used in several
locations on the spacecraft will release gases when
exposed to the high temperatures found where the
spacecraft is intended to operate. The released gases can
later re-solidify and contaminate the spacecraft. The alloy is
found in three locations, supporting two instrument suites,
on the spacecraft—the four FIELDS whip antennas, their
respective thermal shields, and the SPC thermal shield—
which are required to meet top-level mission requirements.
Testing to understand the alloy’s performance revealed
that the alloy released gases even at temperatures much
cooler than where the spacecraft will operate. The project
is pursuing two mitigations. First, it is conducting tests to
develop a contamination model, which should indicate
the effects, if any, the re-solidified gases have on the
spacecraft and help project officials determine if it is safe
to fly the spacecraft with the existing alloy. Second, officials
told us that they have ordered new material which could
be used to replace the four FIELDS whip antennas and the
SPC thermal shield. The project plans to make a decision
if they will replace existing parts with the new material by
February 2018. The project cannot replace the FIELDS
thermal shields, so they have designed and implemented
an additional shield, which will undergo testing in March
2018.

Online FutureSpaceTourist

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5952
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 5351
  • Likes Given: 1509
Quote
The Delta IV Heavy at the Vertical Integration Facility near Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. It will launch the Parker Solar Probe for #NASA. #PSP #Florida #ULA #SLC37 🚀

https://twitter.com/astrohardin/status/992153852194549762

Offline Targeteer

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3722
  • near hangar 18
  • Liked: 871
  • Likes Given: 443
They are really small. Being really close to the sun helps  :)

http://parkersolarprobe.jhuapl.edu/News-Center/Show-Article.php?articleID=77

Solar Power: Parker Solar Probe Tests Its Arrays
Posted on 05/07/2018 12:03:00
NASA’s Parker Solar Probe gets its power from the Sun, so the solar arrays that collect energy from our star need to be in perfect working order. This month, members of the mission team tested the arrays at Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Florida, to ensure the system performs as designed and provides power to the spacecraft during its historic mission to the Sun.

Parker Solar Probe is powered by two solar arrays, totaling just under 17 square feet (1.55 square meters) in area. They are mounted to motorized arms that will retract almost all of their surface behind the Thermal Protection System – the heat shield – when the spacecraft is close to the Sun.


NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is powered by two solar arrays, shown here on May 2, 2018, at Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Florida.


Andrew Gerger, an engineer from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, prepares to conduct an inspection of one of the solar arrays from NASA’s Parker Solar Probe on May 2, 2018, at Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Florida.

Andrew Gerger of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory inspects one of NASA’s Parker Solar Probe’s two solar panels by passing current through the array, which causes it to glow red and allows him to examine each individual solar cell. The testing occurred on May 2, 2018, at Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Florida.

Andrew Gerger of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory and Rick Stall of Newforge Technologies check and adjust a purple laser using a replica of a solar array wing on May 3, 2018. Later, when the solar arrays are attached to the spacecraft, the laser will be used to illuminate each string of cells on the array to confirm the string is connected and will provide power to the spacecraft.

« Last Edit: 05/08/2018 06:48 AM by Targeteer »
Best quote heard during an inspection, "I was unaware that I was the only one who was aware."

Offline Star One

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9075
  • UK
  • Liked: 1568
  • Likes Given: 168
Old IMAX projectors simulate Sun in key test for Parker Solar Probe

Making sure a critical sensor that will fly aboard NASA’s $1.5 billion Parker Solar Probe will work properly when the spacecraft is being blasted by fierce light and radiation a scant 6.2 million kilometres (3.9 million miles) from the Sun is no small task.

But researchers at the University of Michigan who manage the spacecraft’s Solar Wind Electrons Alphas and Protons investigation – SWEAP – came up with a novel solution. They bought four vintage IMAX movie projectors on eBay for a few thousand dollars each that could be rigged to simulate the expected heat at close range to Earth’s star.

The SWEAP sensor, known as a Faraday cup, was mounted in a vacuum chamber at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Mass., that was pumped down to one-billionth of an atmosphere. The light from the four projectors was directed into the chamber and onto the Faraday cup.

“It turns out a movie theatre bulb on an IMAX projector runs at about the same 5,700 degrees Kelvin, the same effective temperature as the surface of the Sun,” Justin Kasper, the instrument’s principal investigator at the University of Michigan, said in a release. “And it gives off nearly the same spectrum of light as the surface.”



https://astronomynow.com/2018/05/01/old-imax-projectors-simulate-sun-in-key-test-for-parker-solar-probe/

Tags: