Nasa's Parker probe sets off for moment in the sun

Rodiano Bonacci
Agosto 10, 2018

"In addition to using a powerful rocket, the Delta IV Heavy, Parker Solar Probe will perform seven Venus gravity assists over its seven-year mission to shed sideways speed into Venus' well of orbital energy".

The car-sized probe, which will get within 3.9million miles of the sun's surface, is set to blast off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Saturday at 8.33am British time.

As the probe orbits the sun, it will experience extreme radiation with temperatures expected to reach 1,377C (2,510F), which is close to the melting point of steel.

Scientists hope to unlock mysteries such as why the sun's corona, the outermost layer of its atmosphere, is hotter than its surface. Its handlers will gradually bring the probe closer and closer to the Sun over its 6+ year mission, but by the time it begins its final orbits it's going to be moving faster than anything mankind has ever built before.

The mission Sun's outer atmosphere, or corona, the closest any man-made instrument has ever got to a star.

Nasa says the TPS has been tested to withstand up to 1,650C temperatures and "can handle any heat the sun can send its way".

Understanding more about solar activity could help scientists forecast the large eruptions from the sun that pose a threat to satellite and communications systems.

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