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Parker Solar Probe: Nasa launches mission to 'touch the Sun'

12 August 2018 01:33 pm - 8     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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US space agency Nasa has launched its mission to send a satellite closer to the Sun than any before.

The rocket carrying the Parker Solar Probe shot up into the sky from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

It came after a failed attempt the previous day, when a last-minute alarm caused the agency to miss its 65-minute weather window.

The probe is set to become the fastest-moving manmade object in history.

Its data promises to crack longstanding mysteries about the Sun's behaviour.

The probe aims to dip directly into our star's outer atmosphere, or corona.

It is travelling on board the Delta-IV Heavy rocket, which will hurl the probe into the inner Solar System.

The probe will zip past Venus in six weeks and make a first rendezvous with the Sun a further six weeks after that.

Over the course of seven years, Parker will make 24 loops around our star to study the physics of the corona, the place where much of the important activity that affects the Earth seems to originate.

The probe will dip inside this tenuous atmosphere, sampling conditions, and getting to just 6.16 million km (3.83 million miles) from the Sun's broiling "surface".

"I realise that might not sound that close, but imagine the Sun and the Earth were a metre apart. Parker Solar Probe would be just 4cm away from the Sun," explained Dr Nicky Fox, the British-born project scientist who is affiliated to the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.

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

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  Comments - 8

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  • astronaut Sunday, 12 August 2018 01:49 PM

    Better send it at night because of the heat.

    Unchikun Sunday, 12 August 2018 04:00 PM

    May I suggest on a winter night.

    Puma Sunday, 12 August 2018 03:35 PM

    Wasted money for nothing. Humans will never learn what is required and not required until they get wiped out from the planet

    Mandayan Sunday, 12 August 2018 05:03 PM

    Instead of spending money this way, NASA could earn money by sending people directly to heaven!!

    Amarendra Sri Chandragupta Sunday, 12 August 2018 06:32 PM

    This is a very exciting mission, through which we may broaden our understanding of the physics behind the Suns functionality and better predict Solar activity especially Solar storms. In this modern age where Satellite dependence is high and every thing from Internet to mobile GPS positioning depends on it, being able to predict Solar activity is crucial to mitigate or avoid possible damages to this infrastructure.

    Ceylon Sunday, 12 August 2018 07:18 PM

    Great achievement by scientists.very advance achievements allready achieved the areas of communications,and nuclear warfare.but still not much achieved for transport,health,food,poverty reduction, crime control,rule of law and equall rights.need equall attention for above matters urgently.

    Saman Sunday, 12 August 2018 07:27 PM

    Some may say it's waste of money and so on.. They never want to know anything beyond earning, eating and sleeping. Human race needs all the knowledge they want to survive. from Asteroids, Solar storms, etc.

    Asela Sunday, 12 August 2018 07:29 PM

    What if we can pack our premier and president with this


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