NASA has launched its first ever spacecraft which is commissioned to touch the Corona of Sun. The spacecraft is called “Parker Solar Probe”. It is expected to reach almost 6.2 million kilometers inside to the photo-sphere and will travel at nearest to the Sun with a speed of 700,000 km/hr.
The project was announced in 2009 and the spacecraft was scheduled to launch in 2015. However, the actual launch happened on 12 August 2018. The Parker Solar Probe will fly straight through the straggly fringes of the corona, or outer solar aero-sphere, that was visible during last August’s total solar eclipse.
Current Status of Parker Solar Probe:
Currently, the Parker Solar spacecraft is functioning nominally, and through its first week in space, it will extend its high-gain antenna, magnetometer boom, and its electric field antennas. Instruments examination will start promptly in September, and its first science inspections will begin in December 2018.
Probe’s Mission :
Solar Probe Parker will be the first-ever spacecraft to glide into the lower solar corona of Sun. It will examine the formation and activities of the Sun’s coronal plasma and magnetic field, the energy stream that warmth the solar corona and drives the solar wind, and the things involved in working together that increases the energetic particles.
The Parker Solar Probe mission configuration uses frequent gravity assists at Venus to additionally lessen its orbital perihelion to attain several passes of the Sun at approximately 6 million km.
The spacecraft’s systems are shielded from the intense heat alongside the Sun by a solar shadow-shield.
The goals of the Parker Solar spacecraft are:
- Discover the stream of energy that heats the corona and escalates the solar wind.
- Ascertain the formation and activity of the magnetic fields at the origins of the solar wind.
- Discover what processes increase and convey active particles
In order to attain these objectives, Parker Solar Probe mission will execute five major enquirers or investigations:
- Electromagnetic Fields Investigation (FIELDS)
- Integrated Science Investigation of the Sun (ISIS)
- Wide-field Imager for Solar Probe (WISPR)
- Solar Wind Electrons Alphas and Protons (SWEAP)
- Heliospheric Origins with Solar Probe Plus (HeliOSPP)
The spacecraft is named after NASA’s Astrophysicist Eugene N. Parker, who predicted the presence of solar wind, a balanced, supersonic flow of particles banging off the sun, in 1958, 60 years ago. This NASA’s spacecraft is the first one ever to be named for a living person.
Understanding further about solar activity and gaining more information than already know to scientists will aid scientists to predict the huge emissions from the sun that causes danger to satellites and communications systems.