NASA's Parker Solar Probe, its journey to the Sun

Mindy Sparks
August 9, 2018

As particles within the corona gets frequently heated and shoot out from the Solar System's star, which is called "solar wind". The launch window opens in the early hours of Saturday's morning, at 3:45 a.m. EDT (07:48 GMT), and will last for 45 minutes.

This means PSP will be able to fly through the star's scorching-hot atmosphere, according to NASA scientists.

The car-sized Parker Solar Probe only weighs about 1,000 pounds (450 kilograms), but relies on the massive United Launch Alliance rocket to carry it swiftly into space.

This will enable the probe to work on three main questions: why its atmosphere becomes hotter farther away from the surface of the Sun, how the solar wind of charged particles streaming out into space is born, and what causes the big outbursts scientists call coronal mass ejections.

The solar probe is already prepped for the flight, reveals a new NASA photo that shows the spacecraft snugged inside its fairing atop the Delta IV Heavy rocket.

"Over the years, we get closer and closer to the sun, and there's no reason we can't stay in that orbit indefinitely, so we can probably have an extended mission beyond the seven years", said McComas, who is the principal investigator for the Integrated Science Investigation of the Sun (ISʘIS, pronounced EEE-sys and using the symbol of the sun in the middle of the acronym), which is one of the four instrument suites aboard Parker Solar Probe.

McComas plans to be at Cape Canaveral for the launch of the Parker Space Probe.

The spacecraft, which is about the size of a auto, will then loop around Venus before it makes its final run towards the giant fire ball.

It will make its final approach in 2025 where it will come within 4 million miles of the sun's surface.

Their first close encounter is slated for November 5, when the Parker spacecraft will begin its approach to the sun.

Foam and fiber form the probes heat shield, which is nearly 5 inches thick sitting on the front of the spacecraft. This means that if it doesn't launch on the 11th, there will be other opportunities for launch up until August 23.

In a statement, NASA said the probe "will travel through the sun's atmosphere, closer to its surface than any spacecraft before it, facing brutal heat and radiation conditions - and ultimately providing humanity with the closest-ever observations of a star".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

Discuss This Article