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A Real Sun Probe, Take the Solar Plunge
ljk4-1
post Dec 25 2005, 12:33 AM
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Any serious plans to send a probe into the Sun to explore its depths as far as possible?

What would help a probe last as long as it could and how deep could it get?

Could it even radio or laser out any data?

What about a Sun skimmer?


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"After having some business dealings with men, I am occasionally chagrined,
and feel as if I had done some wrong, and it is hard to forget the ugly circumstance.
I see that such intercourse long continued would make one thoroughly prosaic, hard,
and coarse. But the longest intercourse with Nature, though in her rudest moods, does
not thus harden and make coarse. A hard, sensible man whom we liken to a rock is
indeed much harder than a rock. From hard, coarse, insensible men with whom I have
no sympathy, I go to commune with the rocks, whose hearts are comparatively soft."

- Henry David Thoreau, November 15, 1853

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Guest_BruceMoomaw_*
post Dec 25 2005, 11:23 PM
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Richard Trigaux, alas, is too optimistic about the Genesis scientists being able to retrieve "most" of their planned data. The latest news is that they will indeed be able to properly measure the amount of noble gases in the Sun, since those (except for argon-40, which is irrelevant) exist only in microscopic amounts in Earth's atmosphere and water, and so weren't affected by the crash's contamination. But that was only their third scientific priority -- the top ones were to measure the isotopic ratios of the Sun's oxygen and nitrogen (especially the former), and unfortunately those have been very badly contaminated indeed. It's questionable whether they'll be able to retrieve any meaningful results on those.

As for Solar Probe -- whose design has been modestly changed lately, without harming its total science output -- see the very informative official Web page at http://solarprobe.gsfc.nasa.gov/ . Solar scientists would absolutely love to fly this mission, but it will cost as much as a New Frontiers mission and so NASA has yet even to officially propose it. (It's even been suggested that it should be included in the New Frontiers program. But that, in turn raises the question of whether ALL competitive-proposal programs for space science -- Solar System, Mars, astronomy, magnetospheric science or what have you -- that are in the same cost range should be folded up together into a single competitive space-science proposal program, which might well make sense.)

There is no doubt at all, however, that we can make Solar Probe work -- amazingly, we already have almost all the technology we need for it. Extensive ground tests of that dunce-cap shaped carbon heat shield show that not only does it provide full protection against the heat, but it vaporizes considerably less than expected and so won't contaminate the probe's plasma measurements. The only thing that requires any additional work at this point is the design for the "plasma periscope" that would peep around the edge of the heat shield and divert a small amount of the outflowing solar plasma to the analyzers behind the shield.
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Guest_Richard Trigaux_*
post Dec 26 2005, 09:27 AM
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QUOTE (BruceMoomaw @ Dec 25 2005, 11:23 PM)
Richard Trigaux, alas, is too optimistic about the Genesis scientists being able to retrieve "most" of their planned data.  The latest news is that they will indeed be able to properly measure the amount of noble gases in the Sun, since those (except for argon-40, which is irrelevant) exist only in microscopic amounts in Earth's atmosphere and water, and so weren't affected by the crash's contamination.  But that was only their third scientific priority -- the top ones were to measure the isotopic ratios of the Sun's oxygen and nitrogen (especially the former), and unfortunately those have been very badly contaminated indeed.  It's questionable whether they'll be able to retrieve any meaningful results on those.
*


The team first came with an optimistic statement, pity of it did not worked. There was many expectations about this experiment.




QUOTE (BruceMoomaw @ Dec 25 2005, 11:23 PM)
As for Solar Probe -- whose design has been modestly changed lately, without harming its total science output -- see the very informative official Web page at  http://solarprobe.gsfc.nasa.gov/ .  Solar scientists would absolutely love to fly this mission, but it will cost as much as a New Frontiers mission and so NASA has yet even to officially propose it.  (It's even been suggested that it should be included in the New Frontiers program.  But that, in turn raises the question of whether ALL competitive-proposal programs for space science -- Solar System, Mars, astronomy, magnetospheric science or what have you -- that are in the same cost range should be folded up together into a single competitive space-science proposal program, which might well make sense.)

There is no doubt at all, however, that we can make Solar Probe work -- amazingly, we already have almost all the technology we need for it.  Extensive ground tests of that dunce-cap shaped carbon heat shield show that not only does it provide full protection against the heat, but it vaporizes considerably less than expected and so won't contaminate the probe's plasma measurements.  The only thing that requires any additional work at this point is the design for the "plasma periscope" that would peep around the edge of the heat shield and divert a small amount of the outflowing solar plasma to the analyzers behind the shield.
*


So there is REALLY such a project?

Woww.

Thank you for the link, Bruce, it is very interesting. I hope such a mission will fly one day.

Of course at only 4 sun radii of the surface of the sun, it will be unmanned. Not yet any Bush plan for Sun colonization?

And for the great dive INTO the Sun, we shall see a bit later.
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punkboi
post Jan 6 2006, 05:51 PM
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QUOTE (Richard Trigaux @ Dec 26 2005, 02:27 AM)
Not yet any Bush plan for Sun colonization?
*


Hahaha!! I'd say something...but I don't wanna turn this into a political topic.

EDIT: Okay, so I just browsed through the rest of this thread. I guess I didn't have to get political. tongue.gif


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Posts in this topic
- ljk4-1   A Real Sun Probe   Dec 25 2005, 12:33 AM
- - nprev   I don't know, but my best guess would be <p...   Dec 25 2005, 02:07 AM
|- - JRehling   Solar Probe was supposed to come within 3 solar ra...   Dec 25 2005, 06:15 AM
|- - Richard Trigaux   QUOTE (JRehling @ Dec 25 2005, 06:15 AM)Solar...   Dec 25 2005, 08:24 AM
|- - nprev   The only "practical" solution I can see ...   Dec 25 2005, 08:38 AM
- - dvandorn   Well, there's always David Brin's solution...   Dec 25 2005, 07:46 AM
- - Richard Trigaux   Other ways to probe the Sun would be sending a las...   Dec 25 2005, 08:36 AM
|- - Jyril   QUOTE (Richard Trigaux @ Dec 25 2005, 11:36 A...   Dec 25 2005, 12:22 PM
|- - Richard Trigaux   QUOTE (Jyril @ Dec 25 2005, 12:22 PM)The Gene...   Dec 25 2005, 04:02 PM
- - tty   A lot of neutrinos from the interior of the Sun is...   Dec 25 2005, 04:37 PM
|- - Richard Trigaux   QUOTE (tty @ Dec 25 2005, 04:37 PM)A lot of n...   Dec 25 2005, 05:57 PM
- - BruceMoomaw   Richard Trigaux, alas, is too optimistic about the...   Dec 25 2005, 11:23 PM
|- - Richard Trigaux   QUOTE (BruceMoomaw @ Dec 25 2005, 11:23 PM)Ri...   Dec 26 2005, 09:27 AM
|- - ljk4-1   QUOTE (Richard Trigaux @ Dec 26 2005, 04:27 A...   Dec 26 2005, 06:03 PM
||- - Richard Trigaux   QUOTE (ljk4-1 @ Dec 26 2005, 06:03 PM)Ma...   Dec 26 2005, 08:52 PM
||- - antoniseb   It would be possible to create a probe that could ...   Dec 27 2005, 01:50 AM
||- - dvandorn   QUOTE (Richard Trigaux @ Dec 26 2005, 02:52 P...   Dec 27 2005, 06:25 AM
||- - tty   QUOTE (dvandorn @ Dec 27 2005, 08:25 AM)Absol...   Dec 28 2005, 11:53 AM
||- - Bob Shaw   (Sigh) You're all missing the obvious way to ...   Dec 28 2005, 12:05 PM
||- - Bob Shaw   QUOTE (Bob Shaw @ Dec 28 2005, 01:05 PM)(Sigh...   Dec 28 2005, 12:08 PM
|- - punkboi   QUOTE (Richard Trigaux @ Dec 26 2005, 02:27 A...   Jan 6 2006, 05:51 PM
- - edstrick   Unfortunately, the Solar Probe mission, or whateve...   Dec 26 2005, 11:12 AM
- - BruceMoomaw   The trouble is that we haven't as yet come up ...   Dec 27 2005, 08:36 AM
|- - BlackMage   Well, if one gets to think into the really long-ra...   Dec 28 2005, 07:26 AM
- - edstrick   A limitless, though relatively small, source of en...   Dec 28 2005, 12:30 PM
|- - Richard Trigaux   QUOTE (edstrick @ Dec 28 2005, 12:30 PM)Consi...   Dec 29 2005, 08:20 AM
- - kwan3217   I recall a sci fi story from long ago about a mann...   Dec 29 2005, 05:05 AM
|- - tty   QUOTE (kwan3217 @ Dec 29 2005, 07:05 AM)1) Ca...   Dec 29 2005, 06:38 PM
|- - Bob Shaw   QUOTE (tty @ Dec 29 2005, 07:38 PM)I wonder i...   Jan 6 2006, 11:06 PM
|- - ljk4-1   QUOTE (Bob Shaw @ Jan 6 2006, 06:06 PM)Freema...   Jan 7 2006, 03:02 AM
- - BruceMoomaw   That story was Theodore Taylor's "The Wea...   Dec 29 2005, 11:37 AM
- - Richard Trigaux   PINK FLOYD SET THE CONTROL FOR THE HEAR...   Dec 29 2005, 02:56 PM
- - BruceMoomaw   So THAT'S how they got so pink. By the way, S...   Dec 29 2005, 04:38 PM
|- - Bob Shaw   Bruce: Careful there Ted, or Crazy Dan might try ...   Dec 29 2005, 04:45 PM
||- - lyford   QUOTE (Bob Shaw @ Dec 29 2005, 08:45 AM)Bruce...   Dec 29 2005, 06:29 PM
|- - Richard Trigaux   QUOTE (BruceMoomaw @ Dec 29 2005, 04:38 PM).....   Dec 29 2005, 05:53 PM
- - PhilHorzempa   The Solar Probe project is still alive. In a Repo...   Jul 6 2007, 02:49 PM
- - Pando   http://solarprobe.gsfc.nasa.gov/   Jul 9 2007, 06:41 AM
|- - tedstryk   If it actually gets funded, it should also give us...   Jul 19 2007, 05:41 PM
|- - stevesliva   QUOTE (tedstryk @ Jul 19 2007, 01:41 PM) ...   Sep 20 2010, 06:05 AM
- - Y Bar Ranch   Hey, my first post here. So my idea for a solar p...   Jul 29 2007, 11:01 PM
- - Geographer   What is the highest level of albedo that's bee...   Nov 8 2007, 04:18 PM
|- - JRehling   From one reference on the web, I'm seeing that...   Dec 11 2007, 08:23 AM
|- - scalbers   QUOTE (Geographer @ Nov 8 2007, 05:18 PM)...   Sep 19 2010, 08:57 PM
|- - stevesliva   QUOTE (scalbers @ Sep 19 2010, 04:57 PM) ...   Sep 20 2010, 05:52 AM
- - ngunn   Has anyone suggested using the phenomenon of total...   Dec 11 2007, 11:42 AM
|- - ugordan   Wouldn't a big glass prism be massive?   Dec 11 2007, 11:49 AM
- - ngunn   Lots of little ones forming a scaly skin? A cloud ...   Dec 11 2007, 11:57 AM
- - Juramike   Or how about ice crystals? Could the probe squirt...   Dec 11 2007, 12:17 PM
- - jamescanvin   I notice from reading this months BIS magazine (th...   Dec 11 2007, 02:23 PM
|- - Juramike   QUOTE (jamescanvin @ Dec 11 2007, 09:23 A...   Dec 11 2007, 02:27 PM
- - robspace54   I understand that Johns Hopkins University Applied...   Feb 5 2008, 05:44 PM
- - djellison   Yeah - that was my series of (probably very illega...   Feb 5 2008, 05:56 PM
- - nprev   HA!!! More accurate then you know...   Feb 6 2008, 02:54 PM
- - djellison   Screw it - use an Antanov 225. Designed, from the...   Feb 6 2008, 03:03 PM
- - stevesliva   Maybe the A380 freighter will be the first Airbus ...   Feb 6 2008, 03:04 PM
- - nprev   They'd have to get a lot more portly, and have...   Feb 7 2008, 03:39 PM
- - Paolo   I have just received the author's copies of th...   Feb 19 2008, 07:24 PM
- - mps   NASA Calls on APL to Send a Probe to the Sun It s...   May 5 2008, 09:32 AM
- - RZero   Nasa Plans to go to the Sun Seems its becoming a ...   Jun 12 2008, 08:33 AM
- - mps   More detailed technical information here: Solar Pr...   Jun 12 2008, 10:53 AM
- - Drkskywxlt   Solar Probe Plus has been given the green light to...   Jul 7 2010, 04:58 PM
- - Drkskywxlt   It seems that the ESA Solar Orbiter mission (if se...   Jul 27 2010, 05:46 PM
- - Sunspot   Cool We can never have too many solar missions   Jul 27 2010, 07:54 PM
- - punkboi   A new article on Solar Probe Plus... 5 science ins...   Sep 3 2010, 12:39 AM
- - stevesliva   Actually only four instruments mentioned, but radi...   Sep 3 2010, 03:45 AM
|- - illexsquid   QUOTE (stevesliva @ Sep 2 2010, 08:45 PM)...   Sep 21 2010, 07:22 AM
- - Sunspot   More on one of the instruments http://www.spacere...   Sep 30 2010, 10:55 PM
- - mps   Solar Orbiter is selected as ESA's first M-cla...   Oct 5 2011, 05:51 PM
- - Paolo   selected again, you mean. I don't want to get ...   Oct 5 2011, 05:55 PM
- - stevesliva   Solar Probe Plus mentioned in this interesting sol...   Mar 8 2013, 09:56 PM
- - Paolo   ESA's Solar Orbiter has recently been delayed ...   Dec 3 2013, 06:33 PM
- - Jaro_in_Montreal   Whatever happened to this sun-grazing spacecraft c...   Dec 7 2013, 06:19 PM
- - Paolo   it's now known as the Solar Probe Plus, an app...   Dec 7 2013, 06:38 PM
- - centsworth_II   Holy 2001-Space-Odyssey-caveman-thrown-bone-turnin...   Feb 12 2014, 06:36 PM
- - gndonald   There is a user of the Orbiter Spaceflight simulat...   Mar 1 2014, 12:09 PM


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