Parker Solar Probe awaits closure of its fairing and eventual transport to the launch pad in 2018.
Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

The Parker Solar Probe team has been named the winner of the 2018 Neil Armstrong Space Flight Achievement Award, given by the American Astronautical Society at its 57th Robert H. Goddard Memorial Symposium in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Launched on August 12, 2018, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe mission is the culmination of a 60-year quest to build a spacecraft and instruments capable of exploring the searing temperatures and radiation of the corona, and investigate the processes that drive the solar wind. Named for physicist Eugene Parker, who first suggested the existence of such a solar wind, the mission has already completed one orbit of the Sun, with 23 more scheduled for the seven-year primary mission. Initial data from the four instrument suites has revealed new and previously unobserved processes at play in the near-solar region; the first major scientific findings will be presented in the fall of 2019. Parker Solar Probe was designed, built, and is operated for NASA by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland.

“The Armstrong Award is an outstanding testament to the vision, hard work, and accomplishments this team has made over the past decade,” said Project Manager Andy Driesman of Johns Hopkins APL. “From NASA to APL to the investigation teams, and all our mission partners, we worked together to create a uniquely capable spacecraft that’s setting records and contributing to new understandings of solar science. We’re very proud of our achievements to date, and we’re honored to have this historic recognition.”

The Complete Article, Courtesy JHU/APL NASA