To ensure that NASA’s Parker Solar Probe will be able to withstand the physical stresses of launch, engineers at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory – where the probe was designed and is being integrated and tested – used a special device called a shaker table to simulate the forces of being hurled into space. The spacecraft successfully passed vibration testing, or “vibe,” as the engineers call it, in late October.
“Our vibration testing uses our 40,000-pound force shaker to simulate many of the dynamic events that occur during launch and powered flight,” said APL’s Dave Persons, Parker Solar Probe lead structural engineer. “By safely simulating that process here in the clean room, we’re able to fully monitor the spacecraft and make sure it’s cleared for flight. During the test, we actively monitored over 300 channels of data.”
The complete article is here:
A paper with participation by many members of the NuSTAR X-ray binaries group (and SSL) entitled, “An elevation of 0.1 light-seconds for the optical jet base in an accreting Galactic black hole system” by Gandhi et al. was published in the journal Nature Astronomy this week. The primary result was based on X-ray and optical observations of V404 Cyg, which is an accreting black hole transient that had an extremely bright outburst in 2015. It was found that fluctuations in the optical light from the black hole were delayed by 0.1 seconds relative to the X-ray fluctuations, providing a measurement of the location of the optical emission zone in the jet. The delay was only seen after a plasma jet was detected at radio wavelengths, demonstrating that the optical emission arises from the jet. A news release is available at https://www.nustar.caltech.edu/news/nustar20171030
On Sept. 21, 2017, engineers at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, lowered the thermal protection system – the heat shield – onto the spacecraft for a test of alignment as part of integration and testing.
This is the first time that the revolutionary heat shield that will protect the first spacecraft to fly directly into the Sun’s atmosphere was installed; also, this is the only time the spacecraft will have its thermal protection system — which will reach temperatures of 2,500 degrees F while at the Sun — attached until just before launch.
Parker Solar Probe is scheduled for launch on July 31, 2018, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. The spacecraft will explore the Sun’s outer atmosphere and make critical observations that will answer decades-old questions about the physics of how stars work. The resulting data will improve forecasts of major space weather events that impact life on Earth, as well as satellites and astronauts in space.
Announcing the Lin Fellows Seminar at the Space Sciences Laboratory
- On Monday, October 9th at 2 pm
- SSL Addition Conference Room
- Speakers will include:
- David Smith (UC Santa Cruz)
- Chris Möckel (Lin Fellow pictured below),
- Aashrita Mangu (Lin Fellow pictured below)
- A reception will follow the seminar
The Robert P. Lin Graduate Fellowship was established in 2012 with a gift from Lily Lin. It is used to support outstanding UC Berkeley graduate students who pursue research related to space sciences.
Come inside the clean room at JHU Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) today at 1:45 ET – join NASA Sun Science for a Facebook Live look at the amazing spacecraft and people who are helping humanity touch the Sun in 2018.
August 21st, 2017 was the astronomical event of a lifetime, a total solar eclipse. This eclipse would span the entire United States from Oregon to South Carolina with a 70 mile swath of totality for over two minutes.
The hype had been building for months. Reservations for lodging had been made years in advance for some while others waited to see what the weather would bring and made a last minute excursion toward totality. For some, the weather, the location did not cooperate and we had to settle for NASA Live Streaming, Local News or Social Media.
Social media made it possible for folks to see totality no matter where they were and we have compiled a series of video presentations of the 2017 Great Solar Eclipse.