NASAs solar spacecraft begins to take shape

NASAs solar spacecraft begins to take shape
Highlights

NASA\'s ambitious Solar Probe Plus mission came a step closer to reality when it successfully completed its Critical Design Review (CDR) recently. APL has designed and will build and operate the spacecraft -- that will fly closer to the sun than any other spacecraft has done before -- for NASA.

Washington: NASA's ambitious Solar Probe Plus mission came a step closer to reality when it successfully completed its Critical Design Review (CDR) recently. APL has designed and will build and operate the spacecraft -- that will fly closer to the sun than any other spacecraft has done before -- for NASA.

Over 24 orbits, the mission will use seven flybys of Venus to reduce its distance from the sun. The closest flyby will be just about 6.1 million kilometres from the surface of the star. The spacecraft and instruments will be protected from the sun's heat by a 4.5-inch-thick carbon-composite shield. During the closest passes around the sun, temperatures outside the spacecraft will reach nearly 1370 degrees Celsius.

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