Why NASA mission to “Touch the Sun” will not Melt

Touch the Sun

Why NASA mission to “Touch the Sun” will not Melt

Touch the Sun: With NASA launching a historic Parker Solar Probe deeper onto the solar atmosphere than any mission before it, the question arises: Why won`t it melt?

Inside the solar atmosphere

A region known as the corona — the probe will give observations of what drives the wide range of particles, energy and heat that course through region. The spacecraft will travel into material with temperatures greater than several million degrees Celsius. While being bombarded it with intense sunlight.

According to the US space agency, Parker Solar Probe has designed to withstand extreme conditions and temperature fluctuations for mission.

“The key lies in its custom heat shield and an autonomous system that helps protect our mission from Sun`s intense light emission. But it does allow coronal material to `touch` the spacecraft,”. NASA said in a statement.

While Parker Solar Probe will travel through a space with temperatures of  the several million degrees. Surface of heat shield that faces the Sun will only get heated to approx 1,400 degree Celsius.

The probe makes use of the heat shield known as Thermal Protection System. And TPS, which is eight feet in diameter and 4.5 inches in thickness.

Those few inches for protection mean that just on other side of the shield, spacecraft body will sit at a comfortable 30 degrees Celsius.

This TPS has designed by Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. It was built at Carbon-Carbon Advanced Technologies, using a carbon composite foam sandwiched between two carbon plates.

This lightweight insulation will accompanied by a finishing touch of white ceramic paint on the sun-facing plate. It is to reflect as much heat as possible.

The solar arrays have very surprisingly simple cooling system. A heated is to tank to keeps coolant from freezing during launch and two radiators. It will keep the coolant from freezing, aluminium fins to maximise the cooling surface, and pumps to circulate coolant.

The spacecraft that launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on August 12, will transmit first scientific observations in December.

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