Friday, 19 October 2018
Latest news
Main » Parker Solar Probe: Nasa launches mission to 'touch the Sun'

Parker Solar Probe: Nasa launches mission to 'touch the Sun'

12 August 2018

The probe will dip inside this tenuous atmosphere, sampling conditions, and getting to just 6.16 million km (3.83 million miles) from the Sun's broiling "surface".

A NASA spacecraft rocketed toward the sun Sunday on an unprecedented quest to get closer to our star than anything ever sent before.

Over the course of seven years, Parker will make 24 loops around our star to study the physics of the corona, the place where much of the important activity that affects the Earth seems to originate.

The problem on Saturday had to do with the gaseous helium pressure alarm on the spacecraft, officials said early Saturday.

More news: News Corp loses $1.4bn as paid subscriptions get a boost

The mission, that costs about $ 1.5 bn has been over five decades in the making, and is unique for bringing a space probe closer to the sun than any man made object.

NASA on Sunday blasted off a $1.5 billion spacecraft toward the Sun on a historic mission to protect the Earth by unveiling the mysteries of unsafe solar storms.

The spacecraft, which will plunge into the sun's atmosphere, known as the corona, is protected by an ultra-powerful heat shield. Along the way, the spacecraft will gather data to try and solve some of the sun's great mysteries.

These solar outbursts are poorly understood, but pack the potential to wipe out power to millions of people.

More news: Sarri's 'Spanish' Chelsea get off to flawless start

Knowing more about the solar wind and space storms will also help protect future deep space explorers as they journey toward the Moon or Mars.

Justin Kasper, a project scientist and professor at the University of MI, said: 'The Parker Solar Probe will help us do a much better job of predicting when a disturbance in the solar wind could hit Earth'.

He said: "Imagine the Sun and the Earth were a metre apart". We are ready. We have the ideal payload.

The spacecraft has been named after 91-year-old astrophysicist Eugene Parker, who was one of the many spectators who arrived at the launch site to watch the historic moment.

More news: Changes to ICBC premiums would see bad drivers pay more

One of the reasons, scientists are sending the probe is the Sun's atmosphere and the weird property it exhibits, of being hotter than the surface of the sun itself.

Parker Solar Probe: Nasa launches mission to 'touch the Sun'