Getting ready for the mission to Hell

Solar Orbiter and Solar Probe Plus

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Getting ready for the mission to Hell

#1  Postby DougC » Mar 26, 2015 9:35 pm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-32069216
B.B.C. Article
They must be the two most audacious space missions currently in development.
Solar Orbiter and Solar Probe Plus will venture inside the orbit of Mercury to study the Sun.
The temperatures on the front surfaces of these satellites will go into the high hundreds of degrees Celsius, and beyond.
You could say they are the missions to Hell.
Designing the systems needed to protect the spacecraft has stretched the minds of engineers.
They both require heatshields, of course. For the European Space Agency's Solar Orbiter (SolO), it is a titanium solution. For the American Solar Probe Plus (SP+), it will be a carbon-composite material.
Their instruments will have to cower behind these barriers to make the measurements that scientists hope will unlock some of the Sun's enduring mysteries.

(Continues)
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To be, is to do (Sartre)
Do be do be do (Sinatra)
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Re: Getting ready for the mission to Hell

#2  Postby trubble76 » Mar 29, 2015 11:01 am

Should be some really interesting science coming out of these.
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Re: Getting ready for the mission to Hell

#3  Postby newolder » Jul 12, 2020 9:24 am

First images from ESA’s Solar Orbiter to be revealed:

The first images from ESA’s new Sun-observing spacecraft Solar Orbiter will be released to the public on 16 July 2020. Media representatives are invited to watch an online press briefing, which will take place at 14:00 CEST (13:00 BST), and talk to the scientists behind the mission.
...

ESA Press Release link

“The first images are exceeding our expectations,” says Daniel Müller, ESA Solar Orbiter Project Scientist.

Members of the public can watch an online press briefing at https://www.esa.int/esawebtv on Thursday 16 July at 14:00 CEST (13:00 BST).
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Re: Getting ready for the mission to Hell

#4  Postby newolder » Jul 16, 2020 11:59 am

I am, somehow, less interested in the weight and convolutions of Einstein’s brain than in the near certainty that people of equal talent have lived and died in cotton fields and sweatshops. - Stephen J. Gould
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Re: Getting ready for the mission to Hell

#5  Postby newolder » Jul 16, 2020 1:05 pm

The probe's current perihelion is about 0.5 AU and that will shrink over the next few orbits and manoeuvres to 0.25 AU. The first images are tests of the equipment and produced gasps of appreciation/relief from all the teams involved.

The report of "new" phenomenon observations is cool. An extended vocabulary is/will be required to name the features. The "campfire" objects appear to be similar to ordinary flares but much smaller - around 1000km in extent and minute-ish time scales. These are likely (?) a causal agent that raises the corona (atmosphere) temperatures to millions of Kelvin degrees by "magnetic reconnection" events as seen in ordinary flares.

The probe will reach Solar polar orbits in about 2025 onwards during the predicted maximum in Solar activity of Solar Cycle #25.

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Re: Getting ready for the mission to Hell

#6  Postby felltoearth » Jul 16, 2020 4:46 pm

So it will be almost halfway between mercury and the sun then when it reaches .25 AU.
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Re: Getting ready for the mission to Hell

#7  Postby theropod_V_2.0 » Jul 16, 2020 7:39 pm

We are about to learn a great deal about our star. Let’s just hope the shields hold.

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