When Parker's solar probe takes off from the Air Force Canaveral (Florida) this summer, it will carry the names of more than a million people on its historic journey to the Sun.
To be more precise, we are talking about 1,137,202 names recorded on a memory card the size of a nail. These listings were submitted in March. The memory card was installed on a spacecraft in the area of a memorial plaque dedicated to Eugene Parker. This is a geophysicist who first suggested the existence of a solar wind. The images of Parker and a copy of his research from 1958 were also saved on the memory card.
Parker's probe is going to revolutionize our understanding of the sun. The device was created at the Johns Hopkins Laboratory of Applied Physics. This is the first mission that plans to “touch” the star. The probe will study the external solar atmosphere and perform critical observations to answer long-standing questions about the physics of stars.
Scientists install plaque and names on the outer part of the ship (left)
The obtained data will help to improve the forecasts of major eruptions and subsequent weather phenomena that affect earth life, the work of satellites and astronauts. To protect against high temperatures, technology created a shield with a thickness of 4 inches, made of carbon-carbon foam and a special plasma coating. The shield will be able to keep the room temperature, even if the outer layer of the screen warms up to 2600 degrees Fahrenheit.
The map and the plaque were presented to Parker during his visit to the probe in October. The launch window opens on July 31st.