NASA is all set to launch a ‘cutting edge heat shield’ known as Parker Solar Probe with an aim to get closer to the sun than any human-made object has ever gone. The heat shields also called as the Parker Space Probe or Thermal Protection System was installed in aircraft on June 27 as per the statement released on Thursday.
According to NASA, the Parker Space Probe was named after living astrophysicist Eugene Parker and this is the first time when NASA named a spacecraft after a living person. It was expected to be launched on 4 am Aug 4. The window will be opened from 4 am and will remain open for about an hour.
The US space agency told that the Parker Space Probe is about the size of a small car and it will face heat and radiation unlike other in the history.
As per the NASA reports, “The eight-foot-diameter heat shield will safeguard everything within its umbra, the shadow it casts on the spacecraft”.
They added further, “At Parker Solar Probe’s closest approach to the sun, temperatures on the heat shield will reach nearly 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit, but the spacecraft and its instruments will be kept at a relatively comfortable temperature of about 85 degrees Fahrenheit”.
Parker Space Probe is made up of two panel coated with carbon-carbon composite embedded in between a 4.5-inch-thick carbon form core.
The historic move by NASA with the discovery of new spacecraft will not only enhance future forecast of space weather events but also the life on earth, satellites, astronauts and stations in space.
As far as speed is concerned, Parker Space Probe travel with the speed of 69,2018 km per hour which is equal to travel from Philadeplhia to Washington DC within a second. NASA said the heat shield weighs almost 72.5 kg.