Our annual Winter Series podcast special runs for three weeks during the holidays and features important news updates or talks on topics we think you’ll find interesting from other creators. Our regular interviews will resume on January 14th.
On December 4th NASA announced the first results from the Parker Solar Probe mission. The mission is a first of its kind with the probe flying closer to the sun than any other spacecraft before. It’s a risky mission, but with rich scientific rewards expected. And in this news conference, the principal investigators confirm some long thought theories about our star, but also reveal some new mysteries.
The seven year mission continues, and just five days ago the spacecraft successfully completed its second flyby of Venus. NASA says the spacecraft used Venus to slow itself down, approaching the planet at a distance of about 3,009 km (1,870 miles) from Venus’s surface during the second gravity assist of the mission. This gravity assist maneuver adjusted Parker Solar Probe’s trajectory to set it up for its fourth orbit around the Sun, or perihelion, which will occur on January 29.
Panelists and timeline:
0:00 – Introduction
2:52 – Nicola Fox, director of the Heliophysics Division in the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington
5:16 – Stuart Bale, principal investigator of the FIELDS instrument at the University of California, Berkeley
9:21 – Justin Kasper, principal investigator of the Solar Wind Electrons Alphas and Protons (SWEAP) instrument at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor
15:19 – Russ Howard, principal investigator of the Wide-Field Imager for Parker Solar Probe (WISPR) instrument at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington
21:04 – David McComas, principal investigator of the Integrated Science Investigation of the Sun (ISOIS) instrument at Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey
28:04 – Questions and Answers