Nasa probe will still be circling Sun at end of Solar System say scientists
11 August, 2018, 20:34
The probe is expected to take flight atop a Delta IV Heavy rocket at 3:33 a.m. ET on Saturday, ironically launching to the sun in the dead of night from Cape Canaveral Florida. Each flyby will provide an orbit-shaping gravity boost, drawing it ever closer to the Sun and straight into the corona - the Sun's outermost atmosphere. That shield should absorb the extreme heat of the sun, heating up to 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit and keeping the spacecraft and its sensitive instruments at 85 degrees Fahrenheit, according to NASA.
"It was just a matter of sitting out the deniers for 4 years until the Venus Mariner 2 spacecraft showed that, by golly, there was a solar wind", Parker said earlier this week.
However, the corona of the Sun is about 300 times hotter than the Sun's surface and also it has a powerful plasma energetic particles that can unleash geomagnetic space storms and disrupt Earth's power grid.
Today (Aug. 10), accompanied by NASA Science Mission Directorate Associate Administrator Thomas Zurbuchen, project scientist Nicola Fox of Johns Hopkins University, and United Launch Alliance President Tory Bruno, Parker admired the Delta IV Heavy rocket with the probe in its tip.
"The solar wind also fills up much of the solar system, dominating the space environment far past Earth", NASA said.
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The spacecraft will hit 6,90,000 kmph in the corona at closest approach. "Our first fly-by to Venus is in the fall, in September". "With each orbit, we'll be seeing new regions of the sun's atmosphere and learning things about stellar mechanics that we've wanted to explore for decades."Over the course of its seven-year mission, the probe will orbit the sun 24 times, each time sweeping through the corona, where the temperature is a blistering 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit (almost 1,400 degrees Celsius)". But these findings are going to take a long time - first, the Parker probe will have to orbit around the sun, getting closer and closer, for as many as seven years.
It will set the record for the fastest spacecraft in history.
The Parker Solar Probe, named after American solar astrophysicist Eugene Parker, will fly closer to our star than any other man-made object.
We'll be going where no spacecraft has dared go before - within the corona of a star.
As NASA explains, the probe's first challenge will be to cancel out the speed at which the earth is moving in relation to the sun.
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