NASA Launches Parker Solar Probe Mission To Touch The Sun

Parker Solar Probe needs to do 7 flybys of Venus before reaching Sun

"It's exciting to contribute to a mission that could solve some of the biggest mysteries about the physics of our solar system".

According to Yan Yihua, president of Division E Sun and Heliosphere, International Astronomical Union, the observation range of the CSRH and the Parker Solar Probe will overlap and it's possible that the two will cooperate in the future for specific scientific tasks.

NASA on Sunday launched a probe that will head closer to the Sun than any other spacecraft before it.

An article in the Dayton Daily News reads: While you were hopefully out enjoying some sunshine with family or friends over the weekend, you may not have known that NASA launched a probe atop a ULA Delta IV Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida toward the sun.

Once Parker reaches the corona of the Sun, it will study the Sun's energetic particles.

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The Journey: To unlock the mysteries of the Sun's atmosphere, Parker Solar Probe will use seven Venus flybys over almost seven years to gradually reduce its orbit around the Sun.

Being the first-ever mission of NASA to "touch" the Sun, the Parker Solar mission is about the size of a small auto that will travel directly into the Sun's atmosphere. Parker Solar Probe has begun its journey to the Sun's atmosphere, also called corona, to study an area which is previously seen only through eclipses. The spacecraft will come close to 4% of the distance from the Sun to the Earth, well within the orbit of Mercury-and closer to the Sun's surface than any spacecraft before it. The research mission will return the critical information about the Sun including the data it collects on its corona, solar winds, and magnetic fields.

The probe, named after American solar astrophysicist Eugene Newman Parker, will have to survive hard heat and radiation conditions. This shield is so effective that the instruments which lie in the umbra (shadow) are able to operate at a comfortable 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29 degrees Celsius).

The Team: The mission is part of NASA's "Living With a Star" program to explore aspects of the Sun-Earth system that directly affect life and society.


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