NASA is about create history by launching a spacecraft into sun’s outer atmosphere in summer 2018.
This mission will help scientists to understand more about the solar events in depth,than ever before.This mission has been renamed after the American solo astrophysicist Eugene Parker.The mission is named as Parker solar probe mission.Parker predicted the existence of Solar wind.He also defined solar wind as the stream of charged particles or plasma that flows from sun into outer space.
Parker proposed a theory in 1958 giving insight about the existence of solar flares.Since during that time scientists believed that space is full of vacuum,his paper was rejected.But one of his colleague preserved it and was published again in 1985,and it was confirmed by the satellite observations.
According to recent study by the National academy of sciences,a huge solar event could cause a damage of worth $2 trillion in US alone.so this mission mission will be a mighty breakthrough to get in-depth details of solar events happening.
“The solar probe is going to a region of space that has never been explored before.It is very exciting that we will finally get a look. One would like to have some more detailed measurements of what is going on in the solar wind. I am sure that there will be some surprises. There always are,” Parker said.
“Parker Solar Probe is going to answer questions about solar physics that we have puzzled over for more than six decades,” said Parker Solar Probe Project Scientist Nicola Fox, of the Johns Hopkins University.
If everything goes according to plan Spacecraft will be launched on june 31,2018 from kennedy space center in Florida.
Highlights of the Parker solar probe mission
- Spacecraft will approach the sun as close as 3.9 million miles in its closest approach.
- Height of the spacecraft is about 3.7 meters.
- Spacecraft’s outer body in made of 4.5 inch thick carbon material,which is capable of withstanding the temperature upto 2500 degrees.
- Probe will reach a speed of 450,000 mph,i.e, 125 miles per second.
- Probe will perform seven flybys of Venus to get into the Sun’s orbit.
- First minimum closest approach will be on 19 Dec 2024.
- Spacecraft will carry a chip,loaded with Parker’s photo and a copy of his seminal,Solar wind paper.
- mission will end by June 2025.
“In order to unlock the mysteries of the corona, but also to protect a society that is increasingly dependent on technology from the threats of solar events , we will send the probe to touch the sun,” said NASA officials.
Read more about the mission here