Parker Solar Probe: T Minus 1 day

Today is the STEM Innovation team travel day. We are mostly arriving from various airports around the Washington DC area and at different times of the day. The flight is about 2hours and 15min. But have you ever wondered how long it would have taken Parker to travel the same distance?

Today, the majority of the STEM innovation team have been in transit to Florida. Not only have we transported the majority of the equipment and technology ahead of time, but many of us are also bringing smaller items that we are more intimately involved with – and perhaps things where last minute changes were needed.

A few days ago you saw us in a blog, as we boxed up several gear VR headsets. When you come to visit us this week (not if, because why wouldn’t you ), you will see some amazing projects that the team has been developing: From looking closely at a NASA spacecraft and Earth’s magnetic field called the magnetosphere using gear VR technology, through to NASA data visualized and interpreted into a 3D cube of LED lights, and even fly with Parker in VR as your buddy while it circles the Sun. And of course, not forgetting, so much awesome NASA related material for you to take home and learn about Space.

When Parker flies around the Sun, it speeds up as it gets closer to the Sun (this is the conservation of angular momentum). But did you know that Parker at its closest position to the Sun will be traveling a monstrously large speed of about 430,000 miles per hour.

Can you calculate how long it would take Parker to travel our same journey from DC to Orlando? When it took us over 2 hours to fly.

Look away now if you do not want to see the answer:

By guessing the plane follows mostly the eastern coastline, the flight is about 875 miles (using an online map).
Using the trusted formula of speed = (distance / time) , we can rearrange the formula to:

Time = (distance / speed).
Which gives us (875 / 430,000) hours.

So actually it would take Parker a mere 7 seconds !!!

Want to know more details about Parker or get hands on experience with what real scientists are investigating? Then come talk to a scientist at Kennedy this week and talk to the STEM innovation Team.

[edit: Sorry this blogs was meant to go live on Thursday night, but had delays in its release]


3 thoughts on “Parker Solar Probe: T Minus 1 day”

  1. Is it possible to see a video clip sample of the virtual reality!? Im not in the USA to be able to come visit Orlando 🙂

    Thanks in advance,
    Ps. Love the blog, it’s very interesting!!

    1. Absolutely, We tried to take a few clips or people testing and trying our VR environment. Now we are all back in Goddard Space Flight Center, I can start collecting our media and upload something by end of this week.

      Next week, I will also try to see if I can upload an informal, and by no means polished version, of the team testing Mixed reality.
      Watch this space.

      Also thank you for your kind words, Let us know if there is anything else you think we can do better.

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