NASA Will Launch ‘Parker Solar Probe’, Mankind’s First Mission To The Sun’s Corona In August


NASA is getting ready to launch the very first mission to the sun. It will involve a car-sized probe that’s called the Parker Solar Probe, and it will loop around the sun while exploring its corona.

The corona is the outermost part of the sun’s atmosphere, and it reaches incredibly high temperatures.

“The spacecraft is buttoned up, looking beautiful and ready for flight,” Nicola Fox, Parker Solar Probe project scientist at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, revealed during a NASA press conference Friday via

The probe will launch in August

The probe is set to launch on August 6th from Cape Canaveral Florida on a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket – the world’s second-highest-capacity rocket currently operating.

The craft will go towards Venus’ orbit six weeks after it is launched. The planet’s orbit will orient the probe correctly toward the sun, the scientists reported.

“The launch energy to reach the sun is 55 times that required to get to Mars, and two times that needed to get to Pluto,” said Yanping Guo from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.

“During summer, Earth and the other planets in our solar system are in the most favorable alignment to allow us to get close to the sun,” Guo added, in order to explain the reason for which the launch date was set for August.

NASA posted on its blog that the craft will also be equipped with a heat shield, a solar array cooling system and a really advanced fault management system as well.

“If it detects a problem, Parker Solar Probe will self-correct its course and pointing to ensure that its scientific instruments remain cool and functioning during the long periods when the spacecraft is out of contact with Earth,” NASA posted.

The mission’s primary target is to help scientists in their quest to understand the sun better.


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