This is the thermal shield of the first space mission to the Sun

An 11.5 cm thick shell will protect the NASA's Parker Solar Probe spacecraft against the intense heat and energy of the Sun's external atmosphere, the crown.

This thermal shield has just been installed on the ship, thus approaching the moment when the mission will be launched, the first of these characteristics.

Exploring the Sun

The launch of the Parker Solar Probe is scheduled for the July 31, 2018, from Cape Canaveral, Florida. It is designed to reach 6 million kilometers from the star and withstand the heat and radiation that that represents.

The mission will explore the outer atmosphere of the Sun (explore the outer atmosphere of the Sun and make critical observations that will answer old questions about the physics of how stars work) and make critical observations that will answer old questions about the physics of how stars work.

According to the US Space Agency, lThe mission has three main objectives: track the flow of energy that heats and accelerates both the corona (or solar atmosphere) and the solar wind, determine the structure and dynamics of the plasma and magnetic fields in the solar wind sources, and explore the mechanisms that accelerate and transport the energy particles.

The resulting data will improve the forecasts of the main space weather events that affect life on Earth.

The Solar Probe Plus mission has been renamed Parker Solar Probe in honor of the astrophysicist Eugene Parker, which described in 1958 the basics of solar wind.

The Sun is an unimaginable source of energy. Every second, its core releases nothing less than the equivalent of 100 million nuclear bombs. The Sun produces in a second 760,000 times the annual energy production worldwide. If the energy produced by the Sun in a single second could be stored, the current energy consumption of the United States could be satisfied over the next nine million years.

Video: Parker Solar Probe heat shield explained (February 2020).