What role does the Sun play in space missions like DS1's?
The Sun plays multiple roles in all of Earth's space missions.
- The Sun is the gravitational center of the solar system. Its gravitational
pull is what keeps the planets in place in their orbits. The Sun makes a huge
gravitational pull that must be countered or at least worked with for a ship
to get to where it is going. Most interplanetary space missions travel in
a circular manner around the Sun, spiraling outwards from it because of gravity.
- The Sun provides a lot of energy as electromagnetic radiation. Many space
missions such as DS1 use that energy through solar panels to make electricity.
In addition, the Sun emits heat and other kinds of electromagnetic energy
that can affect the spacecraft, sometimes damaging systems, sometimes making
interference, and sometimes merely keeping them warm enough to function.
- The Sun emits a solar wind, which provides a slight but noticeable push
on all spacecraft in the solar system.
- The Sun can be unpredictable. It can send up intense solar flares full of
radioactivity that can damage spacecraft.
is an orbit?
What is energy?
does gravity work in space?
do objects in space travel?
How do solar panels
convert the Sun's energy into electricity?
What is heat?
How does heat move?
do space missions take so long?
is electromagnetic radiation?
about radio waves and electromagnetic radiation
travel differently in space than it does on Earth?
Will DS1 get heated
directly by the Sun?
will the Sun damage MICAS?
do spacecraft use an orbit to move from planet to planet?
is solar wind?
is a solar flare?
energy come from and go?
What makes EM radiation?