Re-Upping, At Perihelion: Parker Solar Probe Is All Green Lights, Collecting Data From All Instruments…
June 16, 2020

The graceful, exceedingly-well-built little speed merchant (backgrounder, there) continues to perform. . . flawlessly. So. . . immensely awe-inspiring!

Personally, the idea of seeing Venus’s night side, from a height of only about 500 miles, while travelling about a quarter of a million miles an hour — and witnessing a Venusian solar eclipse — fires. . . my imagination. So I will eagerly await that data set — after election day 2020. Here’s the latest from NASA, on Parker:

. . . .After this solar encounter, the spacecraft will swoop by Venus for its first outbound flyby of the planet. This is when Parker Solar Probe will perform its third Venus gravity assist, which will allow the spacecraft to shed some of its orbital energy and get much closer to the Sun on the following orbit. Flying at an altitude of approximately 516 miles above Venus’ surface — much lower than the previous two flybys but still well above Venus’ atmosphere — Parker Solar Probe will also witness a brief 11-minute solar eclipse during the maneuver. All four instrument suites will be on and collecting data about the near-Venus environment and the planet’s night side during the flyby.

Data from this fifth observation campaign will be downlinked to Earth between late June and mid-August 2020, and will be released to the public in November 2020. . . .

Smiling widely now — at the wonder, our tech enabled world’s opportunities afford to us, to learn about our host star. . . off for a bike ride. . . .

नमस्ते