Historic journey to the Sun – Parker Solar Probe

Planets By Louis Spencer JR |

On Sunday, August 12, 2018, at 10:31 pm Moscow time in Florida from the launch pad number 37 of the US Air Force Base space center at Cape Canaveral, the launch vehicle Delta IV Heavy with the NASA probe Parker Solar Probe, which began its journey to The sun. Testing of instruments will begin in early September and will last approximately four weeks, after which the probe will begin scientific operations. The first data spacecraft will begin to transmit in December this year.

This mission marks the first mankind’s visit to the star. We achieved what only a few decades ago lived in the minds of science fiction writers.– Thomas Tsurbukhen, deputy administrator of the NASA Scientific Office

After the launch, the spacecraft set course for Venus, using the gravity of which, in early October, he will make his first maneuver for the subsequent approach to the Sun at a distance of approximately 24 million kilometers.

Throughout its seven-year mission, Parker Solar Probe will make 6 more flights of Venus and 24 full turns around the Sun, constantly approaching our star until it reaches 6.1 million kilometers. At this point, the probe will race at a speed of almost 700,000 kilometers per hour – faster than any other man-made object created so far.

The main task of Parker Solar Probe will be getting answers to astronomers’ long-worried questions. What is the secret of the fire crown, which is more than 300 times hotter than the regions of the sun thousands of kilometers inland? What creates a supersonic solar wind – a constant stream of solar material, scattering throughout the solar system? And, finally, what accelerates solar energy particles, which can move at speeds up to half the speed of light?

Studying the solar corona with the aid of a spacecraft was one of the most difficult tasks in space exploration. Finally, we will be able to answer questions about the corona and the solar wind that Eugene Parker asked back in 1958, and I can not wait to find out what discoveries we will make.

-Nikola Fox from the Johns Hopkins University Laboratory of Applied Physics

Parker Solar Probe is equipped with four sets of instruments designed to study magnetic fields, plasma and energy particles and capture images of the solar wind. The mission is named after Eugene Parker, an astrophysicist who first suggested the existence of a solar wind.

In addition to scientific instruments, a memory card containing more than 1.1 million names of people who wished to “go” to the Sun is fixed on the probe.

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