NASA spacecraft set to "touch" the sun launches this Saturday

NASA spacecraft set to

The Parker Solar Probe will be launching this week and this probe will travel closer to the sun than any spacecraft before it.

The Parker Solar Probe (PSP) will blast off from Florida's Cape Canaveral launch site this month.

The $1.6-billion mission aims to improve forecasts of major space weather events that impact life on Earth as well as astronauts in space, NASA said.

Thomas Zurbuchen, from NASA's Science Mission Directorate, said: "By studying our star, we can learn not only more about the Sun".

During its last orbit of the sun, in 2025, the Parker Solar Probe will make history by plunging directly through the solar corona to gather as much data as possible about the sun's puzzling atmosphere. The probe will be the first spacecraft to fly into the low solar corona-the aura of plasma that surrounds our closest star.

The car-sized satellite will be carried by a Delta-IV Heavy rocket, one of the tallest rockets launched into space since the Saturn V carried humans to the moon, and it will push the probe to the fastest speeds ever achieved by a human-made object, ultimately reaching 430,000 miles per hour.

The National Administration of Aeronautics and Space (NASA) has devised an spacecraft built with a material capable of withstanding temperatures so high as to get close to the Sun and study it, according to the US agency.

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The match was a thriller as the fortunes fluctuated from one team to another throughout the course of the match. The duo recently featured in England's 31-run win over India in the first of the five-match Test series.

Once the spacecraft waves goodbye to Earth, it will loop around Venus in a maneuver called a gravity assist that will slow down the spacecraft and carefully control its approach to our star.

To survive temperatures of around 2,511 degrees Fahrenheit, the probe is fitted with a 4.5-inch thick, 8-foot diameter carbon shield, which keep the on-board instruments at a warm but safe 85 degrees.

"We've spent all this time since then - 60 years - looking at the sun, looking at the corona from a great distance and trying to understand how they work", said McComas. The probe will be the first NASA project named for a living scientist.

"We hide in the shade underneath the shield", McComas said.

Six on-board instruments will measure the sun's electric and magnetic fields, solar winds and other phenomena.

It will hitch a ride through the atmosphere before being blasted into deep space by the Delta IV Heavy rocket.

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