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Mission to the Sun will launch on August 4th


Posted on Friday, 6 July, 2018 | Comment icon 5 comments

The mission will launch in August. Image Credit: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
NASA's $1.5 billion Parker Solar Probe will be venturing closer to the Sun than any spacecraft in history.
At its closest approach, the probe will fly within a mere four million miles of the Sun's surface.

Its name is a tribute to American solar astrophysicist Eugene Parker who originally predicted the existence of the solar wind, something that at the time was considered 'crazy' by his peers.

One of the things that the spacecraft will be investigating is the fact that, counter-intuitively, the temperature is actually much, much hotter in the Sun's atmosphere than on its surface.

Unsurprisingly, building a probe capable of withstanding such extreme temperatures is no easy task.

"It's only been recently that the technology of heat shields and everything else has converged well enough that we could make this a reality," said heliophysicist Craig DeForest.

"[The mission] is going to answer a lot of questions that we couldn't answer in any other way."


Source: Science News | Comments (5)

Tags: Parker Solar Probe, Sun

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Almighty Evan on 6 July, 2018, 13:40
My name is already on board for the flight. https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2018/more-than-11-million-names-installed-on-nasa-s-parker-solar-probe
Comment icon #2 Posted by Vlad the Mighty on 6 July, 2018, 18:39
Set the controls for the heart of the sun!
Comment icon #3 Posted by Reepa on 6 July, 2018, 22:50
Hmmmmm so the atmosphere is hotter than the surface... Think I?ve solved this one, heat rises. You can have that one for free NASA. X
Comment icon #4 Posted by kewlscot on 6 July, 2018, 23:56
LOL NASA ask Kim Jong Il he will tell you exactly what its like on the Sun http://waterfordwhispersnews.com/2014/01/21/north-korea-lands-first-ever-man-on-the-sun-confirms-central-news-agency/
Comment icon #5 Posted by Susanc241 on 7 July, 2018, 7:07
I just appreciate that my 70th birthday is going to be recognised in this most suitable manner. Couldn?t be more apposite - Leo = sun sign!


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