Nasa launches historic space probe in mission to 'touch' the sun

Why won't NASA's Parker Solar Probe melt

At the same time the solar probe Faraday cup is measuring the properties of the solar wind close to the sun at 8 solar radii, a sister Faraday cup on Voyager (launched in 1977) will probably be measuring plasma in the local interstellar space, totally outside the solar atmosphere, beyond 100 astronomical units, or 20,000 solar radii.

The car-sized, $1.5 billion Parker Solar Probe launched on a Delta IV Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

A last-minute technical problem Saturday delayed NASA's unprecedented flight to the sun.

The Parker Solar Probe's instruments should reveal the mechanisms at work behind the acceleration of solar energetic particles, which can reach speeds more than half as fast as the speed of light as they rocket away from the Sun.

Nasa's Parker Solar Probe set off yesterday on a seven-year odyssey to discover the secrets of the Sun, launching in a ball of flame that lit up the night sky.

It has been designed with shields to help it endure the intense heat and solar radiation.

Parker, the probe, will start shattering records this fall. So far, the Helios 2 spacecraft has made the closest approach, which flew within 27 million miles in 1976.

"Wow, here we go".

The spacecraft was named after 91-year-old astrophysicist Eugene Parker, who proposed the existence of solar wind 60 years ago.

Parker-Solar-1

Instruments on board may also help to explain why the corona is hotter than the sun's surface by several orders of magnitude. With each orbit, it will be propelled closer and closer to the sun, ultimately circling the star at at a distance that is less than 10 radii of the sun.

"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.

When it nears the Sun, the probe will travel at some 430,000 miles per hour (692,000 kilometers per hour).

To handle the heat it has been covered with a special 4.5 inch thick carbon-composite shield capable of withstanding temperatures up to 1,650C.

"We've been inside the orbit of Mercury and done wonderful things, but until you go and touch the sun, you can't answer these questions", Nicola Fox, mission project scientist, told CNN. The next step after that will be to complete its very first solar swoop in November.

NASA will, on Sunday have another go at launching their historic unmanned Parker Solar Probe.

Now the University of Chicago professor has had the last laugh with the probe named after him - the first living person to be so honoured.

Speechless is not a word typically used to describe Nicky Fox, mission scientist for the Parker Solar Probe at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab. Along the way, the spacecraft will gather data to try and solve some of the sun's great mysteries. Solar weather isn't something most of us are aware of - not like approaching thunderstorms or blizzards or tornadoes - but it impacts our technology, our satellites, the electric grid and our communications networks.

Erdogan vows action against 'economic terrorists' over lira plunge
The cycle is, in the jargon, "late stage" and so any sign of danger will be an excuse to sell assets that appear at all risky. Those assurances did seem to arrest the fall of the lira somewhat but could not stop equity investors from selling.

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