@Kaustubh Katdare • 09 Apr, 2015 • 1 like
The Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) has been asked by NASA to start building the Solar Probe Plus Spacecraft - the one that will go closer to the Sun to study our primary source of light and energy. NASA's officials have successfully completed the CDR aka Critical Design Review of the spacecraft designed by the APL and have asked the Johns Hopkins team to start fabrication, assembly, parts integration and system testing. Once ready, the spacecraft will be sailed through the Earth's gravity using Delta 4-Heavy rocket in July or August 2018.

NASA's research team has long wanted to send a spacecraft closer enough to the Sun to get a better understanding of the solar wind and analyse the material these winds carry into our solar system. The main aim of the Solar Probe Plus mission will be to study the flow of energy and also analyse the heating of solar corona. The probe will also aim to explore physical mechanisms that lead to acceleration of solar wind and accompanying energetic particles.

Image Credit: NASA/JHUAPL​

In order to achieve these mission objectives, the Solar Probe plus will carry four different payloads to study the variations in magnetic fields, energetic particles and also capture the imagery of the solar wind. In order to protect itself from the intense temperatures and radiations from the Sun, the probe will use a 4.5" thick carbon composite shield. At its closest pass from the Sun, the spacecraft will be subjected to temperatures about 2500 degree fahrenheit.

Do check out other details about the Solar Probe Plus on the official page linked below. Do let us know your thoughts and opinions. Of course we promise to keep you up to date with all the important developments at NASA.

Source: NASA.GOV

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