Mission to Touch the Sun

NASA Mission Patch

NASA

NASA Mission Patch

NASA has a plan to try to “touch” the sun. They launched the solar probe on August 12. It is going to do 7 flybys of Venus, then use gravity to shoot itself to the sun.  The estimate is that by early November, the probe will be 15 million miles away from the surface. In 2024, will be at the last of its 24 orbits. It will circle the sun for seven years. When it runs out of fuel, it will disintegrate.

The purpose of this mission is “help researchers improve their forecasts of space weather events, which have the potential to damage satellites and harm astronauts on orbit, disrupt radio communications and, at their most severe, overwhelm power grids.”

“This mission truly marks humanity’s first visit to a star that will have implications not just here on Earth, but how we better understand our universe,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. “We’ve accomplished something that decades ago, lived solely in the realm of science fiction.” Northon, Karen. “NASA, ULA Launch Parker Solar Probe on Historic Journey to Touch Sun.” NASA, NASA, 12 Aug. 2018, www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-ula-launch-parker-solar-probe-on-historic-journey-to-touch-sun.

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