NASA is attempting to “touch the Sun” at a historic juncture in space travel

NASA is attempting to “touch the Sun” at a historic juncture in space travel

Next year, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe will make history in space exploration as it passes by the Sun.

Launched on August 12, 2018, the probe is scheduled to pass the sun on December 24, 2024, at a speed of 195 km/s, or 435,000 mph, according to the BBC.

According to NASA’s website, the mission is to “touch the Sun” in order to obtain the “first-ever sampling of a star’s atmosphere.”

A scientist working on the project named Nour Raouafi told the BBC, “We are basically almost landing on a star.”

“This will be a huge victory for all of humanity. This is comparable to the 1969 Moon landing,” he declared.

NASA reports that the probe is within Mercury’s orbit and is orbiting closer to the Sun’s surface than any previous mission, with the goal of assisting us in developing a deeper understanding of the Sun.

In order to help scientists understand more about the origins and evolution of solar wind, the probe collects data and photographs. It additionally provides “critical contributions to forecasting changes in the space environment that affect life and technology on Earth.”
During its trip, the probe will encounter intense heat and radiation while traveling “more than seven times closer to the Sun than any spacecraft.”

Dr Nicky Fox, NASA’s head of science, told the BBC that they “don’t know” what they’ll find in the mission, “but we’ll be looking for waves in the solar wind associated with the heating.”

“I suspect we’ll sense lots of different types of waves which would point to a mix of processes,” she added.

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