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A Real Sun Probe, Take the Solar Plunge
Juramike
post Dec 11 2007, 12:17 PM
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Or how about ice crystals?

Could the probe squirt out a little water in front that would make a series of temporary shields of ice crystals? Could you design the atomizing device so that it would preferentially form ice crystals in the vacuum of space with maximum reflectivity? As it breaks down, would it also do decent job of absorbing heat?

(And water is relatively light to carry.)

So we'd be making an artificial comet!


(Really wildly speculating out there)


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jamescanvin
post Dec 11 2007, 02:23 PM
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I notice from reading this months BIS magazine (thanks for the free copy Phil wink.gif) that the Australians are now also proposing a solar probe like mission to get to within 3-4 solar radii. No clues as to how they intend to do it though.

ABC article


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Juramike
post Dec 11 2007, 02:27 PM
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QUOTE (jamescanvin @ Dec 11 2007, 09:23 AM) *
the Australians are now also proposing a solar probe like mission to get to within 3-4 solar radii. No clues as to how they intend to do it though.


Maybe they'll go at night? cool.gif


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robspace54
post Feb 5 2008, 05:44 PM
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I understand that Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab (JHU/APL) has been studying the solar probe mission. The usual debates about mission capability, payload, and cost continue to swirl.

My source says that the various factions continue to not play nicely (scientists, NASA headquarters, Goddard, contractors) all of which wastes time, money and effort.

There was a Dilbert cartoon once (or perhaps a spoof) where the pointy-haired manager tells Dilbert that the spaceprobe weighs too much so he should delete the science instruments...

R.
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djellison
post Feb 5 2008, 05:56 PM
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Yeah - that was my series of (probably very illegal) 'spacebert' modifications to dilbert cartoons usually talking about Beagle 2 smile.gif
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nprev
post Feb 6 2008, 02:54 PM
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HA!!! laugh.gif

More accurate then you know, Doug; here's an anecdote you might appreciate (true story).

A few months ago, I was called into the big boss's office along with my supervisor to discuss transportation issues for spacecraft. One issue was that since our stuff usually requires C-5s to move, the dropping reliability & increasing expenses associated with these aircraft is problematic. His solution: "Well, then, we need to influence the design process early enough to assure that our spacecraft are small enough to be shipped on commercial carriers like FedEx or UPS!" My boss and I traded a brief look, and tried to gently communicate the point that contractually requiring major breakthroughs in physics & engineering might prove a tad expensive... rolleyes.gif

Almost tempted to speculate that lobotomies are a prerequisite for promotion to division chief.


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djellison
post Feb 6 2008, 03:03 PM
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Screw it - use an Antanov 225. Designed, from the ground up, to carry spacecraft*

smile.gif


Doug

* just not inside
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stevesliva
post Feb 6 2008, 03:04 PM
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Maybe the A380 freighter will be the first Airbus acquired by the Air Farce (to replace the C-5) wink.gif Definitely not betting on an Airbus tanker, but maybe there's something that just has to go somewhere other than Boeing.

Of course Boeing might then offer a few more of those portly 747-LCF Dreamlifters...
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nprev
post Feb 7 2008, 03:39 PM
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They'd have to get a lot more portly, and have a way bigger cargo door...many SV shipping containers are real beasts, believe me.

Planetary missions, on the other hand, aren't bad at all for obvious reasons. Dawn was shipped on a C-17. Some ISS components had to go on specially modifed C-5s; there just wasn't any other way.

Re acquiring the A380 to replace the C-5: Not a bad thought, but lots of systemic problems with it, unfortunately. I've seen 2 up close, and the damn things are high, way higher then USAF material handling equipment for large loads can go. One of the design requirements for C-5s was that they could handle roll-on/roll-off loads like tanks & Jeeps, so they have deployable ramps and can "kneel" the nose landing gear; this makes life much, much easier for behemoth things like SV containers.


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Paolo
post Feb 19 2008, 07:24 PM
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I have just received the author's copies of the March issue of the JBIS, with my article on the history of two 1970s European deep space missions, including the first close perihelion Sun probe study


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mps
post May 5 2008, 09:32 AM
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NASA Calls on APL to Send a Probe to the Sun

It seems they plan to use deployable solar arrays (however, the mission home page still states that there will be MMRTGs)
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RZero
post Jun 12 2008, 08:33 AM
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Nasa Plans to go to the Sun

Seems its becoming a reality.


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mps
post Jun 12 2008, 10:53 AM
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More detailed technical information here:
Solar Probe+ Mission Engineering Study Report
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Drkskywxlt
post Jul 7 2010, 04:58 PM
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Solar Probe Plus has been given the green light to move into Phase A. Basically, it's a real mission now. Launch is scheduled for 2018 currently, but that's due to budgetary restrictions, not technical ones. According to the APL managers, this mission could go 2-3 years earlier if additional funding was provided.

http://solarprobe.jhuapl.edu/
The launch date on this website is incorrect.
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Drkskywxlt
post Jul 27 2010, 05:46 PM
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It seems that the ESA Solar Orbiter mission (if selected) would compliment Solar Probe+, and possibly even launch on the same vehicle. ESA's mission won't get as close to the Sun, but having two spacecraft at different radii would allow some synergistic science.
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