NASA spacecraft will aim straight for sun next year

NASA spacecraft will aim straight for sun next year

NASA spacecraft will aim straight for sun next year

"I$3 n addition to answering fundamental science questions, the intent is to better understand the risks space weather poses to the modern communication, aviation and energy systems we all rely on", Dr. Justin C. Kasper, a space science professor at the University of MI, said in a statement.

The £1.2 billion Parker Solar Probe will launch next summer - to collect data from the edge of the sun's atmosphere.

The plan for the unmanned spacecraft is to orbit within 3.9 million miles (6.3 million kilometers) of the sun s surface.

By sending the Parker Solar Probe into the corona of the sun, NASA is hoping to answer such questions such as: Why is the corona, the top layer of the sun's gaseous atmosphere (visible only during a solar eclipse), hotter than its surface?

Nonetheless, as a recent study by the National Academy of Sciences estimated that a huge solar event could cause two trillion dollars in damage in the U.S. alone without any prior warning, data collected from the Parker Probe will also help improve forecasts of major space-weather events that impact life on our planet.

Solar Probe team also said the spacecraft is now being built and tested and being made to withstand temperatures of 2500 degrees Fahrenheit which is about 1371 degrees Celsius.

The mission is due to launch in July or August next year. The vehicle will have a rare third-stage, "just so we can achieve the incredible speed we need to be able to "surf" around the Sun to take the critical data without getting pulled into the sun itself", Nicola Fox, the Johns Hopkins professor, said in a statement. The probe will investigate two key questions about solar physics: How does the solar wind start?

An illustration of NASA's Parker Solar Probe (previously called Solar Probe Plus) as it flies toward the sun.

The new moniker honors pioneering University of Chicago astrophysicist Eugene Parker, who predicted the existence of the solar wind - the stream of charged particles flowing constantly from the sun - back in 1958.

Second, why is the sun's atmosphere actually hotter - 300 times hotter - than its surface?

Illustration of the Parker Solar Probe spacecraft approaching the sun.

One of the key points of the Parker Solar Probe mission will be when the spacecraft flies through the sun's corona (the outermost part of the sun's atmosphere).

The Parker Solar Probe's mission to touch the Sun will inevitably revolutionize our understanding of the giant, dynamic star. The high-tech umbrella will keep equipment humming along at room temperature while temperatures outside rage at more than 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit.

"One would like to have some more detailed measurements of what s going on in the solar wind", he said. I'm sure that there will be some surprises. And the more we know about how these processes work, the better we can get at predicting when they will happen.

The mission holds claim to another first: the first time NASA has named a spacecraft after a living person.

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