Parker Solar Probe Spacecraft Tour with Patrick Hill, Deputy Project Manager Patrick Hill: Hi, I'm Patrick Hill, Deputy Project Manager for NASA’s Parker Solar Probe. I’d like to take you on a tour of this pioneering spacecraft - designed, built, and soon to be operated by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. In just a couple of weeks a Delta IV Heavy launch vehicle will rocket Parker Solar Probe out of Earth’s atmosphere and begin its long-awaited Mission to Touch the Sun. There are three main technologies on Parker Solar Probe that make this mission possible and they all play an integral part in keeping the spacecraft and scientific instruments safe, healthy, and operating at peak performance. The Thermal Protection System or TPS is an essential technology that enables Parker Solar Probe to get so close to the Sun. During closest approach the Sun-facing side of the TPS will see temperatures around 2,500 °F, meanwhile the spacecraft itself will be closer to the room temperature, around 85 °F.Everything hides behind the shadow or umbra of the TPS, except for a few brave instruments, the FIELDS electrical wave antennas and the SWEAP Solar Probe Cup, both of which have their own heat shields. Like many spacecraft, Parker Solar Probe is powered by solar arrays. There are two on each side of the spacecraft, currently hidden beneath their protective covers. What’s different about our solar arrays is they must operate within the final 5% of the distance between the Earth and the Sun. That’s too much energy for conventionally designed solar powered systems. The first thing we do is use the actuator motors to move the solar arrays behind the umbra of the TPS, such that only the leading edge are exposed to the sun. That small amount of illuminated surface produces enough energy to power the spacecraft and all of the instruments. The spacecraft uses an innovative cooling system that circulates water throughout both arrays. The heated water is then transported to these large radiators hidden behind the TPS which then radiates that heat out to deep space. Parker Solar Probe is the first spacecraft to utilize an actively water-cooled solar array system. During solar encounters the Sun itself blocks Parker Solar Probe from receiving commands from Earth and it must rely on its own autonomous systems to keep the spacecraft and science instruments safe. We’ve placed Solar Limb Sensors all over the spacecraft to determine when it’s receiving too much sunlight, autonomy then determines how best to position the spacecraft by sending commands to the reaction wheels which adjust the probe’s position in space. Parker Solar Probe is one of the most autonomous spacecraft ever designed. Parker Solar Probe culminates of the work of tens of thousands of people at NASA, APL, and our partners all across the country and all over the World. It’s been an honor to work with such a deeply dedicated and knowledgeable team of scientists, engineers, and technicians. I can only wonder what we will discover on our Mission to Touch the Sun!