NASA’s Solar Probe Plus will be an extraordinary and historic mission, exploring what is arguably the last region of the solar system to be visited by a spacecraft, the Sun’s outer atmosphere or corona as it extends out into space.
Solar Probe Plus is a Nasa designed mission to go to 8.5 solar radii above the surface of the sun.
* Solar Wind Electrons Alphas and Protons Investigation: the project will capture particles in the sun’s atmosphere, such as electrons, protons and helium ions, into a specially designed cup and will directly measure their properties.
* Wide-field Imager: a telescope will take 3-D images of the solar corona, including three-dimensional images of clouds and radiation shocks as they approach and travel past the spacecraft.
* Fields Experiment: this experiment involves the direct measurement of electric and magnetic fields, radio emissions and shock waves that course through the sun’s atmospheric plasma. The experiment will also serve as a giant dust detector, registering voltage signatures as space dust hits the spacecraft’s antenna.
* Integrated Science Investigation of the Sun: two instruments will take an inventory of elements in the sun’s atmosphere using a mass spectrometer to weigh and sort ions in the vicinity of the spacecraft.
* Heliospheric Origins with Solar Probe Plus: directed by the mission’s observatory scientist Marco Velli, the aim of this project is to provide an independent assessment of the scientific performance of the overall mission.