August 11, 2018: NASA outlined plans to ‘touch the sun’ ahead of space launch on Saturday (August 11) from Kennedy Space Center in Florida that will send a probe on a seven-year mission closer to the Sun than any other spacecraft has ventured.
Scientists said the Parker Solar Probe that will come 3.83 million miles from the surface of the sun.
Icola Fox, Parker Space Solar Probe Project scientist said, “Why this atmosphere is continually expanding and continually accelerating away from the star. The only way we can do that is to finally go up and touch the sun. We’ve looked at it. We’ve studied it from missions that are close in, and even as close as the planet Mercury, but we have to go there. And so how are we going to do it? So we’ll launch from from Kennedy on Saturday (August 11) morning on our beautiful Delta 4 Heavy.
“And the first thing we will do when we get on orbit is encounter the planet Venus. We use Venus to give us a gravity assist, if I can have that Venus thing. We do a little gravity assist, it’s a bit like a (indecipherable) we’re not like those other missions, we don’t take energy from the planet we give it generously, and we actually slow down just a little bit. And that allows us to shrink our orbit and go closer to the sun than anything has been before.”
The probe is expected to endure wicked heat while zooming through the solar corona to study this outermost part of the stellar atmosphere that gives rise to the solar wind. (DD News)