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NASA to send solar probe closer to sun than ever before

11 August 2018

That's the same year the USA will experience another total solar eclipse, and you'll be able to see the region of the sun where the Parker probe will be.

A NASA probe is about to launch on a mission to the sun in the name of protecting the Earth. The mission will break ground in many different ways, but nobody seems to be paying attention to just how fast the plucky probe will actually be traveling.

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Solar wind can create a whole host of issues for humans - from messing with Global Positioning System communications to exposing astronauts in space to high radiation - and the Parker Solar Probe is launching on a mission to figure out where it comes from. But these findings are going to take a long time - first, the Parker probe will have to orbit around the sun, getting closer and closer, for as many as seven years.

When the probe begins its final orbits it will be moving at approximately 430,000 miles per hour, according to NASA.

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The powerful rocket is needed to propel the payload, NASA's Parker Solar Probe, to the sun. It will have to push itself in the opposite direction of the Earth at approximately 53,000 miles per hours to achieve that and it will be forced to use another planet to help it achieve that goal.

The car-sized spacecraft will be launched from Florida's Cape Canaveral on Saturday at around 3:50 am eastern standard time. In reality, it will aim to eventually reach about 3.8 million miles away, well within the sun's atmosphere.

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The probe, named after American solar astrophysicist Eugene Newman Parker, is set to use seven Venus fly-bys over almost seven years to steadily reduce its orbit around the Sun, using instruments created to image the solar wind and study electric and magnetic fields, coronal plasma and energetic particles.

NASA to send solar probe closer to sun than ever before