The first ever spacecraft to fly directly towards the sun is all set to launch on Saturday. The mission is to unlock the mysteries of our burning star.
NASA’s car-sized, $1.5 billion Parker Solar Probe will be launched from Delta IV Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The probe was supposed to be launched during a 65-minute launch window that opened at 3:33 am ( 1:03 pm India time ) on Saturday.
But it was later postponed to Sunday morning, NASA wrote on its Twitter page.
— NASA (@NASA) August 11, 2018
The unmanned probe’s primary goal is to unveil the secret of the unusual atmosphere around the Sun known as ‘corona’.
The probe will create history as it will become the first ever spacecraft to come closer in the orbit of the sun.
“We are going to be in an area that is so exciting, where solar wind — we believe — will be accelerating,” said NASA planetary science division director Jim Green.
“Where we see huge magnetic fields that are passing by us, as coronal mass ejections make their way out into the solar system.”
The corona is about 300 times hotter than the suns surface, it also has the power to release powerful plasma and energetic particles that can unleash geomagnetic space storms.
“The Parker Solar Probe will help us do a much better job of predicting when a disturbance in the solar wind could hit Earth,” said Justin Kasper, a project scientist and professor at the University of Michigan.
The information will be valuable to study solar winds and space storms, it will be an asset to protect future deep space explorers as they journey toward the Moon or Mars.