Parker Solar Probe: An orbiter type NASA mission launched back in 2018 towards the Sun. It will be the first spacecraft that goes into the Sun’s corona (the outermost layer of the Sun’s atmosphere.) The spacecraft is going to complete a total of 24 orbits around the Sun, getting closer and closer with each orbit until it reaches as close to the surface of the Sun as 6.1 million kilometers (3.8 million miles), and experiencing a temperature of up to 1,377 degrees Celsius (2,500 Fahrenheit.)
To shield the spacecraft and the scientific instrument against the extreme heat, the whole of the spacecraft is covered by a carbon-composite shield that’s 11.3 cm (4.5 inches) thick. Solar panels on the probe are 1.55 meter2 (16.6 feet2)h in the area.
- Launch: Aug. 12, 2018
- Launch Vehicle: Delta IV-Heavy with Upper Stage
Source & Photo Credit: NASA