Parker Solar probe will explore the sun

NASA's specially designed mission probe will explore the sun's atmosphere.
By Karen Saltos | Oct 01, 2018
In a mission that will launch in early August, NASA's Parker Solar Probe will explore the sun's atmosphere. The name of the first mission to the sun is Corona.

The Launch window will open on August 6 between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. EST and will end on August 19. The Probe is about the size of an automobile; this is good because they need a powerful rocket to escape Earth's orbit, change direction and reach the sun.

They chose this two-week period because the Probe will depend on Venus to help it achieve an orbit around the Sun. It will encounter Venus for the first time six weeks after the launch.

The encounter will help slow down the probe, similar to pulling on a handbrake. This will orient it and keep it on a path to the Sun.

"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," said Yanping Guo from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. Now, a human cannot make the journey, so NASA is sending the 10-foot-high probe.

It will end up closer to the Sun than any spacecraft in history and will have to withstand radiation and heat unlike any spacecraft has experienced. The specially designed mission will answer questions that scientists have not been able to answer before.

 

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