NASA spacecraft blasts off toward sun for closest look yet

NASA spacecraft blasts off toward sun for closest look yet

NASA spacecraft blasts off toward sun for closest look yet

On board the Delta IV Heavy rocket is the Parker Solar Probe on its first mission to the sun.

In particular, it is hoped to give scientists a greater understanding of solar wind storms that have the potential to knock out the power on Earth.

The probe's destination is the sun's corona, which it will fly through over two dozen times, eventually coming within less than 4 million miles (6.4 million kilometers) of our star's surface.

The heat shield is built to withstand radiation equivalent to up to about 500 times the Sun's radiation on Earth. The visible surface of the sun has a temperature of about 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

The unmanned spacecraft's mission is to get closer than any human-made object ever to the center of our solar system, plunging into the Sun's atmosphere, known as the corona, during a seven-year mission.

Dr Nicky Fox of Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory said: "I realise that might not sound that close, but imagine the Sun and the Earth were a metre apart".

The car-sized probe is created to give scientists a better understanding of solar wind and geomagnetic storms that risk wreaking chaos on Earth by knocking out the power grid.

These poorly understood solar outbursts could potentially wipe out power to millions of people.

"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 MI.

More news: In wake of book, Trump calls Omarosa 'a lowlife'
More news: Woodland sets PGA record as Championship halted by rain
More news: Plane Stolen From Seattle Airport Performs Stunts, Crashes

"It was just a matter of sitting out the deniers for four years until the Venus Mariner 2 spacecraft showed that, by golly, there was a solar wind", Parker said earlier this week.

Protected by a revolutionary new heat shield, the spacecraft will fly past Venus in October, setting up its first solar encounter in November.

"We are ready. We have the flawless payload".

To reach its target, the Delta 4 Heavy and a solid-propellant upper stage had to supply enough energy to counteract Earth's 18-mile-per-second orbital velocity around the sun, allowing the spacecraft to fall into the inner solar system. "We know the questions we want to answer".

NASA launched its Parker Solar Probe on Sunday morning.

Thousands of spectators jammed the launch site, including 91-year-old astrophysicist Eugene Parker for whom the spacecraft is named.

Parker said he was "impressed" by the Parker Solar Probe, calling it "a very complex machine". It could be due to interactions between electrically charged particles and the sun's powerful magnetic field, or it could be the result of countless "nanoflares" governed by another mechanism. By the time Parker gets to its 22nd orbit of the sun, it will be even deeper into the corona and traveling at a record-breaking 430,000 miles per hour.

When it nears the Sun, the probe will travel at some 430,000 miles per hours - the fastest ever human-made object, fast enough to travel from NY to Tokyo in one minute.

Recommended News

  • China Announces New Set of Retaliatory Tariffs on US Goods

    China Announces New Set of Retaliatory Tariffs on US Goods

    Last month, the United States had imposed duties of 25 percent on Chinese imports worth 34 billion. Workers transfer Lithium-ion batteries in a factory in Taizhou in east China's Jiangsu province.
    Wolves snap up Traore from Middlesbrough

    Wolves snap up Traore from Middlesbrough

    He joined the club on a four-year deal from Aston Villa in 2016, having signed from Barcelona the year before. The 22-year-old completed his medical on Tuesday morning before signing a five-year deal at Molineux.
    Holy smoke! Dramatic footage captures moment aircraft douses California wildfire

    Holy smoke! Dramatic footage captures moment aircraft douses California wildfire

    Clark spoke to a stringer photographer with OnScene outside his cabin, insisting he had nothing to do with the fire. Forrest Clark , the man who allegedly started the Holy Fire, pushed back against the claims before he was arrested.
  • Very Impressive - Frank Lampard Admits Noting Leeds United's Strong Start

    Very Impressive - Frank Lampard Admits Noting Leeds United's Strong Start

    The reprieve was only temporary and two goals in four minutes swung the game decisively in the visitors' favour. Roofe slammed the ball high past Carson to register his second of the game.
    RyanAir pilot strike grounds 400 flights across Europe

    RyanAir pilot strike grounds 400 flights across Europe

    In the Netherlands, Ryanair filed for an urgent court order to try to prevent Dutch pilots from joining the industrial action . But some people took to Twitter to complain at how Ryanair handled the debacle after their flights were canceled.
    Monsanto ordered to pay $289m damages to cancer victim

    Monsanto ordered to pay $289m damages to cancer victim

    Cancer victims and families presenting cases say Monsanto knew about the ingredient's risk for years, but failed to warn buyers. One UN study called the chemical "probably carcinogenic", although other scientists have said it is safe to use.
  • From Kante to the kids, winners and losers as Chelsea beat Huddersfield

    Sarri has quite a task on his hands getting this Chelsea squad up to speed and there were concerns heading into the match. Then Jorginho , who made the move from Napoli with Sarri, converted a disputed penalty.
    Judge orders plane carrying deported mom and daughter back to US

    Judge orders plane carrying deported mom and daughter back to US

    The plane landed in El Salvador, but Carmen and her child were allowed to return to the United States. Law&Crime reached out to the Justice Department for comment, but they have yet to respond.
    Best of the Week

    Best of the Week

    In another tweak, the S-Pen supports Bluetooth LE mode for certain functions, as a remote controller for presentations or selfies. Samsung gives you a discount today and then forces you to prove it later by sending your phone in after your new Note 9 arrives.
  • Fragments of stolen plane scattered after crash

    Fragments of stolen plane scattered after crash

    The jets were not involved in the crash, it said. "It was unfathomable, it was something out of a movie", King told the Times . He used a machine called a pushback tractor to first maneuver the aircraft so he could board and then take off Friday evening.
    India vs England, 2nd Test: Rain stops play, India reeling at 11/2

    India vs England, 2nd Test: Rain stops play, India reeling at 11/2

    On the stroke of lunch, the impressive Shami picked up his second wicket with a ball that kept low and cannoned into Root's pads. In 17 Tests since Joe Root became captain, England have been dismissed for under 300 in their first innings seven times.
    Perseid meteor shower to lit up Qatar sky Saturday

    Perseid meteor shower to lit up Qatar sky Saturday

    Experts say up to 75 meteors will be possible per hour as Earth passes through debris from the Swift-Tuttle comet. The Perseid meteors are so named because they look like they're radiating from the constellation Perseus.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.