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.


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.

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Jose Mourinho reacts after Paul Pogba's "unhappy" comments
Aug 14, 2018 - 16:43
A player that gets chosen and is happy, you always feel more comfortable than when he's not happy. Pogba added: "You have to know one thing".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Google is tracking your location even when you tell it not to
Aug 14, 2018 - 16:16
As per the AP, even when turning off location history, this data can be used to plot someone's day, including their home address. Some might find that useful, but in the case of products like Google Maps , it also makes things a little less user-friendly.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Omarosa’s White House recordings fuel Trump woes
Aug 14, 2018 - 16:11
Omarosa Manigault Newman's new book, " Unhinged ", must not be making the splash she expected it would. To that end, Omarosa attempted to contact me just two days ago, but I refused to accept her call .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Firefighter DIES battling California’s largest EVER recorded wildfire
Aug 14, 2018 - 15:25
It blew past the previous record set by last December's Thomas Fire near Santa Barbara, exceeding it now by about 14,000 acres. But despite the unrelenting heat and the fire gaining about 20,000 acres, the fire is now 61 percent contained .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Erdogan under pressure as Turkish lira plunges to record low
Aug 14, 2018 - 14:12
Investors have become increasingly anxious about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's stewardship of the country's economy. Calling for Islamic solidarity, President Erdogan said on Monday that Washington has the dollar and "we have our God".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Juventus' Champions League ambition greater for Cristiano Ronaldo arrival - Massimiliano Allegri
Aug 14, 2018 - 08:56
Fans swarmed the pitch with 20 minutes remaining to mob Ronaldo , which saw the referee blow the final whistle. The game, between Juventus A and Juventus B, is played yearly in the town of Villar Perosa outside of Turin.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Sports News, Victory at Michigan Harvick's 7th of year
Aug 13, 2018 - 23:40
That experience and those attention to details of things that they do is second to none, and you see it week after week. So who wins the 2018 Consumers Energy 400? STAGE 1: Harvick won the opening stage for his 11th stage win this season.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top No NAFTA deal without Canada: Quebec chief negotiator
Aug 13, 2018 - 23:28
Canada's foreign minister recently said the country is ready to resume NAFTA talks "as quickly and intensively as possible". Will tax cars if can't make a deal!" Trump late on Friday tweeted that a "deal with Mexico is coming along nicely".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho left bemused by Paul Pogba remarks
Aug 13, 2018 - 23:24
Mourinho has cut an unhappy figure throughout the summer and the Red Devils failed to land a number of transfer targets he had identified.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Two stars singled out for 'destroying' West Ham
Aug 13, 2018 - 21:57
That's what we expect from ourselves and then we will see where it leads because West Ham will play, for sure, a good season. In defence, Joe Gomez partners Virgil Van Dijk , while Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson play on the flanks.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Omarosa Releases a New Tape...This Time of a Conversation With Trump
Aug 13, 2018 - 21:44
She acknowledges she had never been able to obtain or hear the tapes but said three unnamed sources had described their contents. But the other recording she discussed on Sunday could prove equally explosive. "People in the White House hated her".

Iran's problems 'internal, not just sanctions'
Aug 13, 2018 - 20:53
The 2015 agreement placed tight controls on Tehran's nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of worldwide sanctions. The protests over the cost of living have often turned into anti-government rallies.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Dier: Tottenham will shut up transfer critics
Aug 13, 2018 - 19:43
With momentum on their side and a full-house roaring them on, Rafael Benitez's side looked set to take the game to Spurs. The second half was open and it was a shock that neither side added to the scoreline as both keepers excelled.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Idris Elba appears to dismiss James Bond rumours on Twitter
Aug 13, 2018 - 18:55
Idris Elba poses as he arrives for the United Kingdom premiere of "100 Streets" at BFI Southbank in London November 8, 2016. Fans were obviously freaking out, as this is the biggest tease Elba might be stepping into the iconic role yet.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Turkey's central bank tries to curb lira fall
Aug 13, 2018 - 18:24
The currency had already been underperforming before the current spat - it has dropped nearly 40% against the dollar this year. Gold, along with other commodities that are priced in United States dollars, tends to retreat when the U.S. dollar rises.