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Preparing for the Parker Solar Probe launch meant plenty of calculations and testing to get everything right. Photo: Levi Hutmacher/Michigan Engineering, Communications & Marketing

Part 4: Using the gravity of Venus to reach the sun

While NASA never intended for the probe to return to Earth, Venus represents a point of no return. |Short Read
Artist’s concept of the Parker Solar Probe spacecraft approaching the sun. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Steve Gribben

Part 3: Parker’s record-breaking ride

The probe will make multiple passes through the corona, utilizing seven gravity assists from Venus to bring its orbits closer and closer to the sun. |Short Read
Testing a model of the Faraday cup ahead of the Parker Solar Probe launch in July. Photo by Levi Hutmacher/Michigan Engineering, Communications & Marketing

Part 2: Testing: Simulating the sun on Earth

A key component of Justin Kasper’s sensory equipment, Parker’s Faraday cup, had to be shown capable of withstanding the heat and light of the journey to the sun. To test it, researchers had to create something new – a homemade sun simulator. |Medium Read
Digital rendering of the Parker Solar Probe approaching the Sun

Part 1: Why we need an early-warning system for solar ejections

When strong magnetic fields crop up along the surface of the Sun cause the atmosphere above to twist, the buildup of magnetic energy leads to a sudden release, called a solar flare. When that energy reaches Earth, it has the capacity to wreak havoc.|Short Read
Artistic rendition of CYGNSS in orbit.

CYGNSS’ ocean achievements pave way for land applications

18 months after the satellites launched, researchers are still discovering new study opportunities.|Medium Read
Jupiter's moon Europa viewed from space

Europa’s ocean: New evidence from an old mission

An image from Hubble and data from Galileo support the theory that this moon is home to global body of water.|Medium Read
Digital illustration of an exploding star

Recreating supernova reaction yields new insights for fusion energy

Our pursuit of fusion needs a heat-check|Short Read
Digital illustration of the Parker Solar Probe approaching the Sun

Key Parker Solar Probe sensor bests sun simulator—last launch hurdle

With old IMAX projector bulbs, Michigan Engineers simulate the sun.|Medium Read
Man adjusts settings on equipment

Podcast: The X3 Thruster

Hear Dean Gallimore and recent PhD graduate Scott Hall discuss the X3 “Mars engine” on the new podcast “The High Five.”|Short Read
Louise Willingale

Louise Willingale advancing scientific knowledge of plasmas

Using some of the best lasers in the world, Willingale is shedding light on the impact of solar events on Earth.|Short Read
Future spacecraft

New computing system to enable deep space missions

A new radiation-hardened, multi-processor, Arm-based spacecraft processor is being developed at Michigan in a project led by Boeing and funded by NASA.|Medium Read
a photo of a meteor in the sky

Meteor over Michigan: How dangerous are space hazards like bolides?

Around 8 pm on Jan. 16, people across Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio witnessed a meteor exploding in Earth's atmosphere. |Short Read