Hopkins-built heat shield lands APL on Fast Company's list of most innovative companies

emocha Mobile Health, co-founded by two Carey Business School alums, also recognized

Parker Solar Probe silhouetted against the massive, orange sun

Image caption: The Parker Solar Probe, scheduled for launch on July 31, will venture to within four million miles of the sun's surface, facing heat and radiation like no spacecraft before it.

Credit: NASA/Applied Physics Lab

For creating the first-ever spacecraft designed to fly through the inferno of the sun's corona, the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory has earned a place on Fast Company's list of the world's most innovative companies.

APL is listed No. 8 in the space category, alongside SpaceX and Blue Origin, for its design and construction of NASA's Parker Solar Probe spacecraft, which is scheduled for launch on July 31. The publication specifically cites the mission's revolutionary heat shield, known as the thermal protection system, or TPS. The TPS, designed with support from scientists at the Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering, is made with carbon-carbon foam and special plasma-treated coatings that will keep the spacecraft behind the shield at roughly room temperature, even as the outside of the shield reaches almost 2,600 degrees Fahrenheit.

Video credit: JHU Applied Physics Lab

In 2016, APL was among Fast Company's most innovative companies in the health care category for its work on DARPA's Revolutionizing Prosthetics program, which created dozens of new technologies, including the world's first neurally controlled artificial arm and hand.

This year, the health category features another company with Johns Hopkins ties, emocha Mobile Health. Emocha, co-founded by Carey Business School alums Sebstian Seiguer and Morad Elmi, developed a video-based medication adherence app to help ensure that high-risk patients take their medication as prescribed. Failure to take medications properly can lead to increased hospitalization costs, negative health outcomes, and the potential for serious public health risks.