Last-minute technical problem delays Nasa’s flight to sun

Last-minute technical problem delays Nasa’s flight to sun

Last-minute technical problem delays Nasa’s flight to sun

On its very first brush with the sun, it will come within 15.5 million miles (25 million kilometers), easily beating the current record of 27 million miles (43 million kilometers) set by NASA's Helios 2 spacecraft in 1976. About this сообщаетAFP, reports the Chronicle.info with reference to the UNN.

This photo provided by NASA shows the United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket with the Parker Solar Probe onboard shortly after the Mobile Service Tower was rolled back, Friday, Aug. 10, 2018, at Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Fla.

NASA is poised to launch a $1.5 billion spacecraft on a brutally hot journey toward the Sun, offering scientists the closest-ever view of our odd and mysterious star.

The corona is about 300 times hotter than the suns surface, it also has the power to release powerful plasma and energetic particles that can unleash geomagnetic space storms.

"It's of fundamental importance for us to be able to predict space weather much the way we predict weather on Earth", explained Alex Young, a solar scientist at NASA.

The Parker Solar Probe was meant to launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida yesterday but take-off was delayed after a problem arose.

The powerful Delta 4 Heavy and a solid-propellant upper stage will provide the energy needed to counteract Earth's 18-mile-per-second orbital velocity, allowing the Parker Solar Probe to fall into the inner solar system.

To handle the heat it has been covered with a special 4.5 inch (11.3 cm) thick carbon-composite shield capable of withstanding temperatures up to 1,650C (3,002F). It will be subjected to brutal heat and radiation like no other man-made structure before.

The probe is meant to plunge into the Sun's mysterious atmosphere, known as the corona, coming within 6.16 million kilometres of its surface during a seven-year mission.

If everything goes according to plan, temperatures inside the spacecraft should be a mere 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

The mission hopes to uncover the sun's mysteries.

"We are ready. We have the ideal payload. And so, these are sort of the three fundamental questions we want to address: the speed of the solar wind, this eruptive phenomena, solar storms, and how is the corona heated?"

The corona gives rise to the solar wind, a continuous flow of charged particles that permeates the solar system.

Parker, now 91, recalled that at first some people did not believe in his theory. Saturday morning's launch attempt was foiled by last-minute technical trouble.

The Parker Solar Probe has been a dream project for the scientists since decades, but the highly advanced technologies like the fault management system, solar array cooling system and the heat shield have been available recently to make this almost impossible mission a reality.

There is also a white light imager, taking pictures of what the spacecraft is about to "plow through", said Fox.

During its historic journey, the probe will jet past Venus at speeds of 430,000 miles per hour, the equivalent of flying from NY to Tokyo in one minute.

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