NASA launches Parker Solar Probe mission to touch Sun
On August 12, the US space agency NASA has successfully launched the Parker Solar Probe mission to send a satellite closer to the Sun than any before. The rocket carrying the Parker Solar Probe lifted off from Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida in the US. It is the world’s first mission to touch the Sun that will unlock the mysteries of star’s fiery outer atmosphere and its effects on space weather during the 7-year long journey. The car-sized spacecraft will travel directly into the Sun’s atmosphere, about four million miles from its surface and more than 7 times closer than any spacecraft has come before. The US $1.5 billion mission will perform the closest-ever observations of a star when it travels through the Sun’s outer atmosphere, called the corona. It is the first space craft to be named after a living person – astrophysicist Eugene Parker (91), who first described solar wind in 1958.