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NASA spacecraft set to "touch" the sun launches this Saturday

By midian182 · 12 replies
Aug 6, 2018
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  1. In order to reach the sun, the probe must leave Earth at a high velocity. That’s why it will be hitching a ride on the United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket, which is the world’s second most powerful rocket, beaten only by SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy.

    In a statement, NASA said the probe "will travel through the sun’s atmosphere, closer to its surface than any spacecraft before it, facing brutal heat and radiation conditions – and ultimately providing humanity with the closest-ever observations of a star."

    The probe will arrive at its destination by looping around Venus on October 2 using a gravity assist maneuver that will control its approach to the star. It should reach its first point of close approach to the sun on November 5.

    The 1000-pound, car-sized spacecraft will be performing 24 flybys of the sun over its seven-year mission. At its closest point, the probe will come within 4 million miles of the star’s surface, placing it within the corona.

    To survive temperatures of around 2,511 degrees Fahrenheit, the probe is fitted with a 4.5-inch thick, 8-foot diameter carbon shield, which keeps the on-board instruments at a warm but safe 85 degrees.

    As noted by Space.com, those six instruments will be working to solve three mysteries about the sun: why its atmosphere becomes hotter farther away from the surface, how the solar wind of charged particles streaming out into space is born, and what causes coronal mass ejections.

    Not only will the probe’s mission mark humanity’s closest visit to the sun, it will also be the fastest man-made object ever, with top speeds reaching 500,000 mph once it is in the star’s orbit. Additionally, it will carry a memory card containing over 1.1 million names, including William Shatner’s, of people who asked for them to be sent into the sun.

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    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 6, 2018
  2. erickmendes

    erickmendes TS Evangelist Posts: 572   +247

    It's gonna touch the sun from 4 million miles away? So can I say I've touched Angelina Jolie's too? ...
    VBKing and JaredTheDragon like this.
  3. Satish Mallya

    Satish Mallya TechSpot Staff Posts: 189   +174

    What ***** decided not to name this 'Icarus'?
  4. erickmendes

    erickmendes TS Evangelist Posts: 572   +247

    I think they hope it won't melt : P
    Reachable and JaredTheDragon like this.
  5. BrianMontanye

    BrianMontanye TS Booster Posts: 81   +53

    Only if she had a few million miles of atmosphere surrounding her.
    erickmendes and Reehahs like this.
  6. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 4,478   +3,037

    Trying to save NASA a few bucks... here's my two cent:
    • The atmosphere is hotter away because it is lighter, and being pushed away by the colder atmosphere below it.
    • Solar winds - radiation particles dissipated under enormous heat tend to propel themselves much faster. In this case it is simply radiation plasma.
    • Coronal mass ejections - rapid temperature exchange results in rapid pressure exchange internally, which combusts at every critical point.
  7. Tom01

    Tom01 TS Rookie Posts: 26   +10

    American Units are embarassing.
    colemar and Lounds like this.
  8. ironlegion

    ironlegion TS Rookie

    There are two types of countries in the world. Those who use the metric system and those that landed 12 men on the moon on 6 different missions. Yes.......how very embarrassing for those superior metric gurus having to watch the inferior american duds do what they could only dream of with their barbaric, primitive measurements. Yes, how very embarrassing.
  9. Lounds

    Lounds TS Addict Posts: 198   +126

    Yeah we definitely landed on the moon... Honest
    JaredTheDragon likes this.
  10. ironlegion

    ironlegion TS Rookie

    I think thats beyond dispute. For example, suppose we had of faked it. Being in the middle of the biggest arms race the world has ever seen...........dont you think the USSR would have been screaming bloody murder and plastering such fakery into every media outlet, window, wall and billboard for the whole world to see? I mean, the Russians could watch the Apollo missions during the entire route. Dontcha think the Russians would have called out faking something so monumental, especially because it hurt their side?
  11. JaredTheDragon

    JaredTheDragon TS Guru Posts: 583   +383

    This would be some pretty decent physics if we were in doing a grade-school science paper. I commend your effort.

    1. Circular logic. Looping, actually. We have the Sun's surface heat somehow causing a cooling then a massive warming the further away from the source, in your theory. It breaks every law of thermodynamics, and also we see the exact opposite on Earth and every other body (including the sun) so data contradicts you here. The corona is far, far beyond the sun's atmosphere as well.

    2. Solar winds are charge pushing ions. "radiation particles" begs the question, what is the particle and why is it radiating? The particle is photons (charge), which includes infrared photons. You say basically that photons dissipate under "enormous heat pressure" which is also photons, which is circular. Then you say tend to propel them much faster, but they are already moving at light speed, alas. Then you say "simply plasma radiation", which isn't a thing at all. Plasma is ionized, charged gas. Plasma doesn't radiate without an explosive or pushing force. Yes, the corona is a very hot plasma, but it's not radiating plasma, it is emitting heat which is of course infrared photons.

    3. Your last theory is a non-starter. CME's are the sun's charge propelling mass out, yes, but "rapid pressure exchange" isn't even a thing and how can the sun, which is already on fire in every way, "combust at every critical point"? It is already doing so. Your theory contradicts itself and all data.

    Really fake science is fun and all but we have really real science and physics to work with, so let's please try to stick to things we have evidence and data for.
  12. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,896   +1,530

    The embarrassment is not being able to cope with BOTH/either
  13. Cosmos10

    Cosmos10 TS Rookie

    How are they going to keep it from melting up? Are they going to have to use oven mitts?

    The best and safest way for them to fly it to the sun, is to fly it at night...

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