NASA's Solar Probe Will Like It HOT


Baltimore (MD) - NASA and Johns Hopkins University engineers and scientists are developing a new spacecraft that will fly closer to the Sun than any other man-made object. The NASA Solar Probe is due to launch in 2015 and costs a cool $750 million. Its mission will be to study the causes of solar storms which can knock out satellites and harm astronauts.

The $750 million craft will have to withstand 2600 degrees Fahrenheit and while this sounds hot, it’s nowhere near the staggering 1.8 million degrees of the Sun’s corona or the 11,000 degrees on the surface. NASA also wants to discover why the corona is so much hotter than the surface.

Read more ... CNN.

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  • SirCrono
    You could have stated the temps in Celsius...

    And knowing the cause of solar flares won't stop them, they should invest more in EM shieldeng instead.
  • sublifer
    Now I don't know for certain but I would start with it being hotter in the corona since that is where "the reaction" takes place, then from there, the reaction behaves like water boiling in a pot... gas is formed on the surface of the pan (some material in or near the corona for which the gas has an affinity for) and when the pocket of gas gets large enough to escape that affinity it bubbles to the surface to release its payload causing the solar flare and resulting solar storms.
    The causes seem simple, its the details that need to be hammered out. Then doing something about it from that end would be idiotic as that is _part_ of the sun's processes. Don't mess with that. Not ever. As the other guy mentioned, look into better shielding instead. It would be a much more fruitful (and cost effective) endeavor.
  • lightfoot__
    It is called pure science. No practical purpose (yet).