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Parker Solar Probe

Discussion in 'Road Side Pub' started by James Snover, May 3, 2021.

  1. James Snover

    James Snover The Ill-Advised Physics Amplification Co Established Member

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    On August 12, 2018, NASA launched it's Parker Solar Probe on a course to put it in a decaying orbit around the sun.

    The probe weighed barely 3,000 pounds, if that much. It was launched on our biggest rocket at the time, the Delta Heavy, which is made to launch up to 50,000 pounds into orbit. The Delta Heavy was fully fueled, too. It gave that little satellite a huge speed.

    So why such a big rocket for such a small satellite?

    Here's another little bit to further the mystery: the Delta Heavy wasn't enough. The Parker solar probe had to get a gravity assist from Venus, come almost all the way back to Earth's orbit, then with all the speed it picked up from it's pass by Venus, head for the sun.

    If it weighed so little, why was all that speed necessary?
     
  2. 4.698gt

    4.698gt Active Member Established Member

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  3. James Snover

    James Snover The Ill-Advised Physics Amplification Co Established Member

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  4. blk02edge

    blk02edge Well-Known Member Established Member

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    The earths orbital velocity is fast
     
  5. BrunotheBoxer

    BrunotheBoxer POWERLIFTING MASTER RACE Established Member

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    Because it takes a lot of energy to go to the sun.
    The earth travels almost entirely sideways relative to the Sun. The only way to get to the Sun is to cancel that sideways motion.
     
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  6. RedVenom48

    RedVenom48 Ghost Editor-in-Chief Premium Member Established Member Beer Money Bros.

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    I thought that the closer you get to the Sun due to its mass, you need to have a faster speed to keep the orbit distance to overcome the increase in gravity.
     
  7. SonicDTR

    SonicDTR Wasn't me. Established Member

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    Takes a lot of speed to punch through the holographic sphere around the fake sun, of course.
     
  8. blk02edge

    blk02edge Well-Known Member Established Member

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    Legend has it, if your binoculars are strong enough you can see the pixels of the hologram
     
  9. James Snover

    James Snover The Ill-Advised Physics Amplification Co Established Member

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    Closer, but not quite.


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  10. James Snover

    James Snover The Ill-Advised Physics Amplification Co Established Member

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    The first part is right. 100%. Second part ...not so much.


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  11. James Snover

    James Snover The Ill-Advised Physics Amplification Co Established Member

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    That’s my fault. Sometimes I don’t pay close enough attention to the projector and it defaults to low resolution. Then I have to go and yell at Bill Gates about how his 2012-correction software is screwing up yet again!


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  12. SonicDTR

    SonicDTR Wasn't me. Established Member

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    But really, perhaps the only way to survive at the intended proximity is to make it a shorter/faster trip?
     
  13. James Snover

    James Snover The Ill-Advised Physics Amplification Co Established Member

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    Nope. It wasn’t going last long being so close to the sun,


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  14. SonicDTR

    SonicDTR Wasn't me. Established Member

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    I stand by my original theory then.
     
  15. 98 svt

    98 svt Premium Member Premium Member Established Member

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    Lol @ all you chumps, thinking the earth is round :D
     
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  16. Machdup1

    Machdup1 Well-Known Member Premium Member Established Member

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    Gravity
     
  17. blk02edge

    blk02edge Well-Known Member Established Member

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    Well to me it's the main part, using gravity assist to slow its orbital velocity but gaining velocity inwards/outwards.
     
  18. James Snover

    James Snover The Ill-Advised Physics Amplification Co Established Member

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    The answer is: the more massive something is, the more it curves space near if. The space around the sun is so warped it is actually difficult to get anything small in any kind of stable orbit. Because despite its gravity, it tends to just fling things away from it. You can see this in the orbits of planets and comets. Planets are big, and have mostly circular orbits with just a bit of elliptical to them. Comets have hugely elliptical orbits and many are not stable.

    Debris does crash into the sun, every day. But itakes forever for any one bit of debris to hit that perfect trajectory. It only happens because the solar system is an amazingly dirty place.

    So they had toss the probe out there with our biggest rocket and get a gravity boost off Venus just to get put in the right place.


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  19. James Snover

    James Snover The Ill-Advised Physics Amplification Co Established Member

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    And the sun is only about twice as large as the average star. There are monsters out there that make 'ol Sol look like a firecracker next to an h-bomb.


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  20. SonicDTR

    SonicDTR Wasn't me. Established Member

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    We really are in one helluva impressive simulation!
     

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