Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar: The man behind Nasas mission to touch the Sun

Rodiano Bonacci
Agosto 12, 2018

"The unique requirements of this mission made the Delta IV Heavy the flawless launch vehicle to deliver Parker Solar Probe into orbit with the highest precision", said Gary Wentz, ULA vice president of Government and Commercial Programs.

These solar outbursts are poorly understood, but have the potential to wipe out power to millions of people.

The probe will be 3.9 million miles from the sun's surface, making it the closest spacecraft to the sun's surface in history.

Nicky Fox, project scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab, said: 'The sun is full of mysteries. "In fact, one of the key things about our early orbits is we're actually just at this sort of sweet spot. over the same area of the sun for many, many days, allowing us to do some really incredible science on our very first flyby".

The probe is guarded by an ultra-powerful heat shield that can endure unprecedented levels of heat, and radiation 500 times that experienced on Earth.

From Earth, it is 93 million miles to the sun (150 million kilometres), and the Parker probe will be within four percent of that distance.

Protected by a revolutionary new carbon heat shield and other high-tech wonders, the spacecraft will zip past Venus in October.

A worst-case scenario could cost up to two trillion dollars in the first year alone and take a decade to fully recover from, experts have warned.

Parker Solar Probe spacecraft was launched on Sunday.

"The spacecraft must operate in the sun's corona, where temperatures can reach millions of degrees", Brown told ABC News via email.

The probe will make 24 close approaches to the sun over seven years.

More knowledge of solar wind and space storms will also help protect future deep space explorers as they journey toward the Moon or Mars.

One of those watching the historic moment was Dr Eugene Parker, the now 91-year-old scientist who first suggested the possibility of solar winds in 1958 and who the craft is named after. "We're in for some learning over the next several years".

"I really have to turn from biting my nails in getting it launched, to thinking about all the interesting things which I don't know yet and which will be made clear, I assume, over the next five or six or seven years, " Parker said on NASA TV.

Scientists have wanted to build a spacecraft like this for more than 60 years, but only in recent years did the heat shield technology advance enough to be capable of protecting sensitive instruments, according to Fox. It could be due to interactions between electrically charged particles and the sun's powerful magnetic field, or it could be the result of countless "nanoflares" governed by another mechanism.

"We'll also be the fastest human-made object ever, travelling around the Sun at speeds of up to 690,000km/h (430,000mph) - NY to Tokyo in under a minute!" she told BBC News.

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