In August, NASA will launch a new interplanetary spacecraft to “touch” the Sun — and the vehicle just got its super durable heat shield for the trip. At the end of June, engineers installed the protective shield on the craft, dubbed the Parker Solar Probe, in Florida, where it’s currently being prepped for launch. The heat shield will keep the probe relatively cool as it encounters blistering temperatures near our Solar System’s star.
The Parker Solar Probe is meant to get closer to the Sun than any vehicle before it. The probe will sit just 4 million miles away from the Sun’s surface, where it will interact with the solar corona, or outer atmosphere. The goal is to learn more about how heat flows within this weird region of space. Every so often, particles within the corona get super heated and shoot out from the Sun in what’s known as solar wind. This stream of particles can mingle with Earth’s magnetic field, causing geomagnetic storms that mess with our satellites and power grid and create auroras. So NASA is interested in figuring out the mechanisms behind this phenomenon to better understand how solar wind occurs.
Adafruit has had paid day off for voting for our team for years, if you need help getting that going for your organization, let us know – we can share how and why we did this as well as the good results. Here are some resources for voting by mail, voting in person, and some NY resources for our NY based teams as well. If there are additional resources to add, please let us know – adafruit.com/vote
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.