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. Credit: NASA/JHUAPL
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.
Watch a time-lapse video of the installation on YouTube
Download HD video of the time-lapse installation
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.
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.
Like a Premium Edition DVD or Blu-Ray, watch the “making of” the Google sponsored video, the Eclipse Megamovie
Video about the Eclipse Megamovie:
Here is a behind the scenes video of the Crowd and Cloud Eclipse Road trip, with interviews, insights and a generally fun time with Eclipse Megamovie volunteers:
We are no longer taking photographs for the Eclipse Megamovie project via our Google website. Scientists, Engineers, Educators, Science Communicators, and Members of the General Public took cool photographs of the total solar eclipse, August 21, 2017, like the one above. They then uploaded their collective 46,000 photographs to the Eclipse Megamovie Project to create the largest public database of a total solar eclipse photos that has ever been collected. Scientists at the Space Sciences Laboratory are currently analyzing the images from this dataset in anticipation of new solar discoveries.
Tori Fae, Lead of the Science Data Center for the ICON mission, explains how ICON will gather data and clues to the mysteries of the ionosphere, the interface between Earth and space.
Space Sciences Lab’s own Research Physicist Marc Pulupa was on KRON 4 on Monday, giving a play-by-play during the eclipse.
NASA Parker Solar Probe project scientist Nicola Fox of Johns Hopkins APL explains the Sun’s corona, visible during the August 21, 2017 total eclipse that will pass over much of the United States, and how Parker Solar Probe will help us unlock some of the mysteries of our star.