Nasa prepares daring mission to 'touch the Sun'

Nasa prepares daring mission to 'touch the Sun'

Nasa prepares daring mission to 'touch the Sun'

NASA's Solar Probe Plus, a mission to fly directly into the sun's atmosphere, is scheduled for summer 2018. How will it withstand the heat? When it leaves Earth, it will be going too fast to get to the Sun. Combined, all three stages will give the probe the vast speed needed to successfully orbit our star. We've studied it from missions that are close in, and even as close as the planet Mercury, but we have to go there. Meanwhile, the star at the heart of it all has remained unprobed. The launch of the probe is now scheduled to launch tomorrow (Aug. 11) at 3:33 a.m. EDT (0733 GMT) from NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida.

The shield should enable the spacecraft to survive its close shave with the fiery star, coming within 3.83 million miles (6.16 million kilometers) of the Sun's surface.

Parker's final trip around the sun will be in 2025.

The main goal of researchers is to study the solar wind.

The solar wind carries a million tons of matter into space every second.

But the Parker Solar Probe will hopefully have no such issue, thanks to a state-of-the-art heat shield that not only can fearless the blistering heat of the sun, but will also make sure the spacecraft stays cool, the Inquisitr previously reported.

Are these temperatures making you worry for Parker's well-being? Protected by a sophisticated heat shield the probe is created to go closer to the sun than any previous spacecraft. And without shielding, most of its instruments would quickly melt.

But why won't carbon melt under such extreme temperatures? But heat is the transfer of energy between molecules.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is just a step away from bringing to life its longtime dream of "touching the sun". We had to make a heat shield, and we love it.

The craft comes equipped with a thick shield made of carbon composite foam and carbon fiber. "If you have a better understanding of the behavior of these solar energetic particles, then you can make better predictions about when to send astronauts to Mars or protect a satellite before it gets ripped apart by a radiation burst". The wires of these tools are crafted from robust niobium, and encased in a protective layer of sapphire crystal tubes. These explosions create space weather events that can pummel Earth with high energy particles, endangering astronauts, interfering with Global Positioning System and communications satellites and, at their worst, disrupting our power grid.

At its closest approach, the probe will be just 3.8 million miles above the sun's surface.

Although much of the Sun's structure is still something of a mystery to us, the PSP is full of possibility.

This will also help fine-tune the probe's orbit around the star - close enough to do its science, but not so close that the sun will burn it up or pull it down.

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