Parker Solar Probe
(PSP, Parker Probe, Solar Probe, Solar Probe Plus, Solar Probe+)
(space probe to investigate solar corona launched in 2018)
The Parker Solar Probe (PSP or Parker Probe, earlier known as the
Solar Probe, Solar Probe Plus, and Solar Probe+)
is a spacecraft launched in 2018 to observe the corona
of the Sun from near the corona's outer reaches.
It is in an eccentric solar orbit which will
be tweaked through Venus flybys as the mission proceeds,
to further reduce the perihelion.
In January 2021, the probe passed closer to the Sun than any previous
spacecraft, roughly 0.1 AU. Instruments:
- SWEAP - solar wind electrons alphas and protons investigation.
- SPC - solar probe cup.
- SPAN - solar probe analyzers.
- WISPR - wide-field imager for solar probe.
- FIELDS - electromagnetic fields investigation.
- IS☉IS-EPI - integrated science investigation of the Sun energetic particle instruments.
| || solar radii || million km || AU |
| Mercury orbit || 83 || 57.9 || 0.387 |
| PSP perihelion, 1/2021 || 19.3 || 13.5 || 0.09 |
| PSP perihelion, eventual goal || 9.86 || 6.9 || 0.045 |
| corona || 6 || 4.2 || 0.0279 |
| solar radius || 1 || 0.696 || 0.00465 |