Mission to the sun

In 2018, NASA plans to launch a spacecraft called Solar Probe Plus to study the sun’s outer atmosphere, or corona, and its expansion into space, known as the solar wind.

Mission to the sun
Journey to the sun
From the sun

Adusting to the heat

As it approaches the sun, the probe will adjust to protect itself from temperatures approaching 2,600 degrees Fahrenheit:

Far from the sun

Solar panels extend when the probe is far from the sun.

Approaching the sun

As the probe gets closer, the solar panels will retract.

Near the sun

All instruments except the Faraday cup and tips of antennas will tuck behind the thermal shield.

Journey to the sun

From the sun