The Parker Solar Probe
This illustration depicts the Parker Solar Probe spacecraft leaving Earth, after separating from its launch vehicle and booster rocket, bound for the inner solar system and an unprecedented study of the Sun.
In the Clean Room
A view of the Parker Solar Probe in the clean room at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.
Read about Space.com's tour of the facility here.
NASA researcher Nicky Fox addresses members of the media, explaining the Parker Solar Probe's upcoming mission.
A member of the Parker Solar Probe team inspects the spacecraft in the clean room.
Betsy Congdon, lead engineer for Parker Solar Probe's thermal protection system (TPS), holds a sample of the same heat shield that the spacecraft will have.
The red wheel on the top of the spacecraft, dubbed the wagon wheel, simulates the mass of the heat shield during testing.
A view of the fan beam (medium-gain) antennas: The spacecraft uses a series of three different types of antennas to communicate with Earth.
Solar Limb Sensors
A view of the solar limb sensors: If there is an attitude error, these parts of the spacecraft will see the sun first, spurring the probe to adjust its position.
A close-up view of various spacecraft hardware for the Parker Solar Probe.
When Parker Solar Probe reaches the sun, this solar cup will be exposed to the sun's full force and will collect data about the solar wind.
A view of Parker Solar Probe's electric field instruments: Long, whip-like structures connected prior to flight will measure the electric field in space.