Mission to the sun lifts off Saturday morning

Nasa prepares daring mission to 'touch the Sun'

The Parker Solar Probe has gained a lot of fame as humanity's first mission to finally unlock the secrets of the solar corona and find out why it's so much hotter than the actual surface of the sun.

The Parker Solar Probe, named for the scientist who first theorized about the existence of solar winds, is expected to get as close as we've ever been to our local star.

You might think you know the Sun: It looks quite unchanging.

Parker said he was "impressed" by the Parker Solar Probe, calling it "a very complex machine". "Stay tuned - we're going to see stuff that we just never would have imagined, I'm sure", said Howard.

You've already heard plenty about the Parker Solar Probe over the past year or so and with good reason.

The big launch is now less than 40 hours away, with the probe's first close approach to the sun slated for November.

The solar spacecraft mission exists because of his work in heliophysics, the study of the sun. This according to Mr parker will be a great achievement among all missions conducted to the sun. "Close in to the sun, what is driving the solar wind, what is causing it to have this major effect on the planet?"

To withstand the 2500-degree heat, scientists have developed a four-inch carbon shield to keep the instruments inside the $1.5 billion probe at room temperature. In one way or another, the energy that heats the solar corona passes through the lines of the magnetic field.




The launch of the probe is scheduled for August 11th from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Sending a spacecraft from Earth to a stationary target like the sun is like trying to throw a dart from a speeding train.

"We're going to explore unknown territory", said Marco Velli, a UCLA space physicist and the probe's observatory scientist.

Researchers hope to learn about solar winds and space weather.

He traveled to the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, where the spacecraft was built, for a "Parker, meet Parker!" encounter.

This manoeuvre will expose the probe "to extreme heat and strong radiation" but it will also allow 'humanity to learn from the closest observations of a star ever made, ' the United States space agency continued. It will fly by our solar system's hottest planet seven times over seven years, using the gravity of Venus to shrink its own oval orbit and draw increasingly closer to the sun. Among other things, the spacecraft will carry a microchip with more than a million names on it.

Plenty of spacecraft have studied the sun, of course, but none have had the potential of the new mission: neither its orbital path nor its instruments have been possible until now, despite 60 years of scientists' dreams. One set, called the Solar Wind Electrons Alphas and Protons, will scoop up particles to measure characteristics like their speed and temperature.

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