NASA launches $1.5bn Parker Solar Probe to Sun

August 12, 2018 10:06 AM

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NASA launches $1.5bn Parker Solar Probe to Sun

Mubasher: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on Sunday announced that it has finally sent its spacecraft “Parker Solar Probe” on a mission into the sun's scorching outer atmosphere, where no probe has ever gone before.

The unmanned spacecraft was launched at 07:31 am GMT, and it will go to the edges of the corona, an outer solar atmosphere, just 3.8 million miles from the sun's surface.

The craft was supposed to be sent at 07:33 am GMT on Saturday, but the mission was delayed for 24- hours due to poor conditions.

The total cost of Parker Solar Probe, the world's most powerful rocket, amounted to $1.5 billion, according to the Daily Mail newspaper.

“NASA was planning to send a mission to the solar corona for decades, however, we did not have the technology that could protect a spacecraft and its instruments from the heat,” Adam Szabo, the mission scientist for Parker Solar Probe at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, said.

Parker Probe targets observing the solar flares and coronal mass ejections that have rippling effects on space weather and communication systems down near Earth.

“Recent advances in materials science gave us the material to fashion a heat shield in front of the spacecraft not only to withstand the extreme heat of the sun, but to remain cool on the backside,” Szabo added.


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