NASA to make announcement about mission to 'touch sun'

NASA to make announcement about mission to 'touch sun'

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is expected to announce on Wednesday the details and launch of its first Solar Probe Plus spacecraft, which will fly directly into the sun's atmosphere.

NASA has named the first mission to fly a spacecraft directly into the sun's atmosphere in honor of Prof.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - A US spacecraft set to launch next year will make a series of unprecedented dives into the sun's scorching atmosphere to see how the star works and what can be done to better predict space weather events on Earth, scientists said on Wednesday. Space weather can affects us all here on Earth, as the Sun sends a shitload of high-energy radiation and particles toward Earth's atmosphere, potentially impacting satellites and ground-based electric grids. The instruments are protected from 2,500-degree heat by an engineering feat worthy of science fiction-a 4.5-inch carbon-composite shield that will keep the equipment near room temperature.

Nicola Fox, a scientist involved with the Parker Solar Probe project, claimed that the probe "is going to answer questions about solar physics that we've puzzled over for more than six decades".

The Solar Probe Plus mission will have to cope with temperatures and radiation unlike any other probe, but the data it will collect in the process will help astronomers predict solar storms and provide clues on some of the deepest mysteries surrounding our closest star. It is the first NASA spacecraft to be named after a living individual. Originally called Solar Probe Plus, NASA's Parker Solar probe honors astrophysicist Eugene Parker, who first hypothesized that a solar wind existed back in the 1950s.

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"The solar probe is going to a region of space that has never been explored before".

A NASA spacecraft will aim straight for the sun next year and bear the name of the astrophysicist who predicted the existence of the solar wind almost 60 years ago. The corona is the outer part of the sun's atmosphere and hard to see under day-to-day conditions because it's masked by all the bright light coming off the sun. While 4m miles might sound like a sizeable distance from the sun, it corresponds to under 10 solar radii.

This photo taken from the Skylab space station on December 19, 1973, shows one of the most spectacular solar flares ever recorded. But it was confirmed a few years later by observations from NASA's Mariner 2 spacecraft.

Last month, mission integration and test team members installed critical components of the Parker Solar Probe's heat shields at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, where spacecraft is being built.

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