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Home Illustration of NASA’s Parker Solar Probe circling the Sun. (NASA/JHUAPL) Illustration of NASA's Parker Solar Probe circling the Sun. (NASA/JHUAPL)

Illustration of NASA’s Parker Solar Probe circling the Sun. (NASA/JHUAPL)

Illustration of NASA's Parker Solar Probe circling the Sun. (NASA/JHUAPL)

Illustration of NASA’s Parker Solar Probe circling the Sun. (NASA/JHUAPL)

Parker Solar Probe’s heat shield is made of two panels of superheated carbon-carbon composite sandwiching a lightweight 4.5-inch-thick carbon foam core. To reflect as much of the Sun’s energy away from the spacecraft as possible, the Sun-facing side of the heat shield is also sprayed with a specially formulated white coating. (NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman)