NASA launches first mission to 'touch Sun'

На краю Солнечной системы обнаружили нечто невероятное

Called Parker Solar Probe, NASA's research tool successfully launched on board a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket and is already en route towards its encounter with the solar corona.

Liftoff of the $1.5 billion mission took place from Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in the U.S. at 3:31 am EDT (1:01 pm Indian Standard Time).

"The mission's findings will help researchers improve their forecasts of space weather events, which have the potential to damage satellites and harm astronauts on orbit, disrupt radio communications and, at their most severe, overwhelm power grids".

The Parker Solar Probe's goal, Dr Fox has said, is to "finally go and understand how our star works" - "to touch the Sun".

On its way, it's expected to be the fastest moving human-made object in history.

On Saturday, NASA launched a bold mission to fly directly into the sun's atmosphere, with a spacecraft named the Parker Solar Probe, after solar astrophysicist Eugene Parker.

The project, with a $1.5 billion price tag, is the first major mission under NASA's Living With a Star program.

На краю Солнечной системы обнаружили нечто невероятное
Here comes the Sun - at 700000km an hour

"Frankly there's no other name that belongs on this mission, it's absolutely clear that it's Gene Parker's name", said NASA's head of science Thomas Zurbuchen.

Renowned physicist Eugene Parker watches the launch of the spacecraft that bears his name - NASA's Parker Solar Probe - early in the morning on August 12, 2018, from Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

This image made available by NASA shows an artist's rendering of the Parker Solar Probe approaching the Sun. "That lovely atmosphere that we saw during the total solar eclipse previous year is about 300 times hotter than the surface of the sun, and that just doesn't make any sense".

"The unique requirements of this mission made the Delta IV Heavy the ideal launch vehicle to deliver Parker Solar Probe into orbit with the highest precision", Gary Wentz, ULA vice president of Government and Commercial Programs said in a press release.

For more than 60 years, scientist have wondered how energy and heat move through the solar corona and what accelerates the solar wind as well as solar energetic particles. The sun's corona itself has remained a mystery for scientists as temperatures run far hotter here than at the suns surface which shouldn't make sense. Find us on Facebook too!

NASA needed the mighty 23-story rocket, plus a third stage, to get the Parker probe - the size of a small auto and well under a ton - racing toward the sun, 93 million miles (150 million kilometers) from Earth. And the probe is, of course, equipped with heat shields.

The first week of the mission will require the spacecraft to perform some tasks.

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