Explanation and Demonstration of the Parker Solar Probe’s Heat Shield | #NASA @NASA

The Parker Solar Probe is scheduled to launch this month from Cape Canaveral to probe the outer corona of the Sun. (Trivia: the probe will ultimately become the fastest humanmade object in existence, achieving speeds of 120 miles per second while orbiting the sun due to gravitational assists.) The probe will get less than 4 million miles from the Sun where temperature is definitely a concern (for comparison Mercury is 9 times as far away at 36 million miles and it has surface temperatures exceeding 800F during the day!). The videos below both explain and demo how the relatively thin heat shield absorbs and essentially dissipates the incredible heat the probe will encounter. (Just don’t increase the brightness in the solar observation room…or sensor in this case.)

Further reading:

Rocket Ranch: NASA Launches New Podcast

How ‘Porkchop Plots’ Determine Earth-to-Mars Trajectories

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