NASA delays its mission to the sun

SansadTV Bureau
NASA (File Photo)

NASA (File Photo)

NASA will send its Parker Solar probe to the sun’s surface.

The launch is from the Vertical Integration Facility at Cape Canaveral Air Force Stations’s launch complex.


Until last year, the spacecraft was known as Solar Probe Plus. NASA renamed it for Eugene N. Parker, who was the first to predict the solar wind. He is a retired University of Chicago astrophysicist. It is the first time NASA has named a mission for a living person.

The probe is being launched with the United Launch Alliance Delta IV heavy rocket.  The Parker Solar Probe is fairly small for a spacecraft, about the size of a car and weighing 1,500 pounds at launch.

It will be a seven year long mission to get closer to the sun than ever before 3.8 million miles from its surface.

The aim is to zoom through the solar corona to study this outermost part of the stellar atmosphere that gives rise to the solar wind.

Corona is a region of the Sun which is only visible from Earth when the Moon blocks out the star’s light during total solar eclipses. The corona is said to hold the answers of several outstanding questions related to the Sun’s activity as well as processes.

(With inputs from agencies)