In Photos: NASA's Parker Solar Probe in the Clean Room

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

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A view of the Parker Solar Probe in the clean room at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.

Read about's tour of the facility here.

Press Time

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NASA researcher Nicky Fox addresses members of the media, explaining the Parker Solar Probe's upcoming mission.

Launch Ready

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A member of the Parker Solar Probe team inspects the spacecraft in the clean room.

Mini-Heat Shield

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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.

"Wagon Wheel"

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The red wheel on the top of the spacecraft, dubbed the wagon wheel, simulates the mass of the heat shield during testing.

Communication Tech

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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

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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.


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A close-up view of various spacecraft hardware for the Parker Solar Probe.

Data Collection

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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.

Electrical Sensors

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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.

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Amy Thompson
Contributing Writer

Amy Thompson is a Florida-based space and science journalist, who joined as a contributing writer in 2015. She's passionate about all things space and is a huge science and science-fiction geek. Star Wars is her favorite fandom, with that sassy little droid, R2D2 being her favorite. She studied science at the University of Florida, earning a degree in microbiology. Her work has also been published in Newsweek, VICE, Smithsonian, and many more. Now she chases rockets, writing about launches, commercial space, space station science, and everything in between.