NASA has a launch planned for this weekend. The Parker Solar Probe will be launched on 11 August if everything goes according to plan. This superfast spacecraft will get very close to the sun to collect images and data on the sun’s atmosphere – the corona.
The probe will reach a speed of 430,000 mph, making it the fastest object ever created. With this speed, it can go from Philadelphia to FC in a second!
NASA has some plans with their solar probe. They will have the data gathered from the sun’s corona beamed back to Earth. This way, the agency can prepare for solar winds and learn how to protect their vehicles and satellites against them.
Also, learning more about our star can help us find out things about other stars. Last but not least, a closer study of the sun could help scientists find out about the origin of life on our planet, considering we need light and heat to survive.
Seven Years Later…
However, until the Parker Solar Probe can reach a distance of 3.83 million miles above the surface of the sun, it will have to circle it for seven years. It will use the gravity from Venus to get closer to the sun every time it orbits it.
And if you were wondering how the probe will not melt so close to the sun, it’s all thanks to a heat shield created from carbon composite foam and plates, and many instruments on the probe are made of an alloy that has a high melting point. The probe also has a cooling system to keep everything in it at an optimal temperature.
Parker will be launched on top of a Delta IV Heavy rocket (United Launch Alliance) from Cape Canaveral (Florida), the launch window starting at 3:33 AM ET. You can watch the historic launch live on NASA TV.
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.