Nasa poised to launch first Sun-skimming spaceship

Nasa poised to launch first Sun-skimming spaceship

In this same vein, NASA is preparing to launch a spacecraft none other than the Parker probe straight towards the Sun. The Sun is the source of solar wind, also known as space weather, and can be extremely destructive to our environment on Earth. The space ship will develop a record speed of 700 km/h. the study of the Sun will end after 7 years. The only way we can do that is to finally go up and touch the sun.

The Parker Solar Probe mission must launch by August 23 or else face a delay until next May. On Board facilities are a high-quality camera, so soon, scientists will enjoy interesting images. This question remains unanswered since they were first described in 1958 by Eugene Parker, whom the probe is named after.

The answers that Parker finds would not just help scientists understand the behavior of the sun, Kasper and his colleagues said.

"The state of solar wind is greatly affected during its journey toward Earth and beyond by a number of other physical processes, which mask completely what caused the heating and acceleration of the plasma in the corona in the first place", Raouafi says. "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". We've studied it from missions that are close in, and even as close as the planet Mercury, but we have to go there.

"We'll be going where no spacecraft has dared go before - within the corona of a star", said project scientist Nicky Fox of APL. It is expected to orbit the Sun 24 times, with the occasional assists from Venus sending it in closer and closer to the Sun's surface. Chief among those is why its outer atmosphere, called the corona, can reach scalding hot temperatures of some 2 million degrees Fahrenheit, while 1,000 miles below, the surface of the Sun is relatively "cool" at 10,000 degrees F.

Protected behind a new carbon-composite heat shield, the probe's instruments will remain at roughly room temperature as they gather information in a region of the corona that reaches temperatures of around 1,400°C.

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"It constantly flows out from the sun at about a million miles an hour and flows throughout our solar system", he said. Helios 2 got within 27 million miles of the sun in 1976.

"As a technological society, what comes toward the earth matters", said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA's science missions.

"This could help us do a much better job of predicting when a disturbance in the solar wind could hit Earth, triggering space weather that could disrupt Global Positioning System, radio, radar and the electric grid", said Justin Kaspar, a professor at the University of MI and a principle investigator for the Parker Solar Probe. Among the properties that it will be measuring regularly are the electric and magnetic fields present, along with the velocity, density, and temperature of particles that typically make up solar wind-protons, electrons, and heavier ionized nuclei.

On Friday, the Parker Solar Probe mission and launch teams concluded a successful Launch Readiness Review.

So although Icarus flew close to the Sun for joy, Parker's visit to the star is purely a business trip.

He also said his interest in the sun came long ago when he started researching the origins of one of its more-distinct features: sunspots. A distance of 3.8 million miles from the Sun is impressively close.

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