Nasa prepares daring mission to 'touch the Sun'

12 August, 2018, 00:00 | Author: Emilio Conner
  • Nasa prepares daring mission to 'touch the Sun'

The Parker Solar Probe is set to launch Saturday before dawn, and I'll be there to share it with you.

Scientists said the Parker Solar Probe that will come 3.83 million miles million miles from the surface of the sun.

Even in a region where temperatures can reach more than a million degrees Fahrenheit, the sunlight is expected to heat the shield to just around 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit (1,371 degrees Celsius).

In the above interview, NASA geophysicist Dr. Alex Young tells our Chief Meteorologist Burton Fitzsimmons about the mission.

Another instrument, called FIELDS, measures and maps electric and magnetic fields within the solar atmosphere, helping scientists understand how those forces interact with the highly charged particles called plasma that make up the sun and speed out to space in what scientists call the solar wind.

The Parker Solar Probe will become the fastest spacecraft ever.

"We'll be going where no spacecraft has dared go before - within the corona of a star", said project scientist Nicky Fox from Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. If all goes as planned, it will lift off aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral on August 11, with a 65-minute launch window beginning at 3:33 am EDT.

"The solar wind also fills up much of the solar system, dominating the space environment far past Earth", NASA said.

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NASA says it's ready for a historic trip to the sun this weekend. At its closest approach, the spacecraft will fly less than 4 million miles (6 million kilometers) above the surface of the sun, directly through its blazing-hot atmosphere.

The spacecraft holds photos of Parker as well as a copy of his 1958 research paper on what he termed solar wind.

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

Nasa is hoping to use the data collected from the probe to help astronomers predict solar storms and explain some of the deepest mysteries surrounding our source of light and heat.

These radioactive storms are so powerful they are able to knock out satellites, disrupt services such as communications and Global Positioning System, threaten aircraft and in even interfere with electricity supplies.

The heat shield is made of a 4.5-inch thick carbon composite foam material between two carbon fiber face sheets. Among other things, the spacecraft will carry a microchip with more than a million names on it. Although the mission is scheduled for seven years, we should get the first data readouts sometime in December.

Parker got to inspect the spacecraft last fall.

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