Published: Tue, August 14, 2018
Research | By Sheri Schwartz

NASA’s flight to sun delayed due to technical problem

NASA’s flight to sun delayed due to technical problem

It will also be the fastest human made object traveling at 430,000 miles (6,92,000 kms) per hour, according to Korreck, who is part of the mission.

"We've accomplished something that decades ago, lived exclusively in the realm of science fiction", he added, describing the probe as one of NASA's "strategically important" missions. But due to a technical snag, the launch date was delayed and scheduled on Sunday, Aug. 12, at 3:31 a.m. EDT (0731 GMT) during a window that will remain open for 65 minutes.

A rocket carrying the Parker Solar Probe lifted off from Cape Canaveral in Florida on Sunday. However, a 4.5 inch carbon composite shield will face the sun, keeping the instruments cool at around 30 degrees C.

"Go, baby, go!" project scientist Nicola Fox of Johns Hopkins University shouted at liftoff.

The Parker Solar Probe is a satellite about the size of the auto, and it is even set to become the fastest moving manmade object history as it fires towards the sun, breaking the record previously set by Pedro Obiang's absolute banger against Spurs last season.

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

The probe won't actually land on the sun, but it will make history - getting closer than any other man-made object. That probably sounds like a bad idea, blasting something into the sun, the flawless sphere of unfathomably hot plasma at the centre of our solar system. 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.

With this first-of-its-kind stellar mission, scientists hope to unlock the many mysteries of the sun, a commonplace yellow dwarf star around 4.5 billion years old.

Nasa chief of the science mission directorate, Thomas Zurbuchen, said Mr Parker was an "incredible hero of our scientific community" and called the probe one of Nasa's most "strategically important" missions.

The specially shielded Parker Solar Probe will have to endure temperatures up to 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit (1,370 degrees Celsius) and solar radiation intensities 475 times higher than we're used to here on Earth. The spacecraft reached about 27 million miles near the sun, covering nearly one-third of total 93 million miles distance from the Earth to Sun.

During the journey, the spacecraft will fly by Venus at speeds of 4,30,000 miles per hour, the equivalent of flying from NY to Tokyo in one minute.

The launch of the Parker probe marks the launch of a hectic era in solar physics.

The probe will constantly be sending back data on solar winds and energy particles. It will approach to within 8.86 solar radii from the "surface" of the Sun and will travel at closest approach, as much as 700,000 km/h.

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.

The Parker Solar Probe will carry a chip with photos of Parker, his revolutionary paper and his message to the sun: "Let's see what lies ahead".

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