NASA launches Parker Solar Probe to the sun

Written by Aqsa Khunshan ·  1 min read >

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) launched a human-made space probe on Sunday that will go closer to the Sun than any spacecraft before.

The Probe was supposed to launch on Saturday but it delayed due to some technical problem. It is protected by an ultra-powerful heat shield that can bear unprecedented levels of heat, and radiation 500 times than expected on Earth. The project comes with a price tag of $1.5 billion, is the first major mission under NASA’s Living With a Star program.

The Parker Solar Probe is launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida about 3:30 a.m on Sunday on a seven-year mission. It is set to fly into the Sun’s corona within 3.8 million miles (6.1 million km) of the solar surface, seven times closer than any other spacecraft.

It’s NASA’s long-planned attempt to “Touch the Sun,” and the Parker Solar Probe will go closer to plasma than any human-made object ever has. It can bear extreme temperatures reaching up to 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit to gather data and images of the sun’s atmosphere called “corona.” The spacecraft will travel with a maximum speed of up to 430,000 mph, making it the fastest-ever man-made object.

NASA plans to use the data to figure out how we can better prepare for solar winds, which are streams of charged particles emitted by the corona. Particularly strong winds could change satellites’ orbits, interfere with their instruments and even affect power grids on Earth.

Moreover, if we want to go deeper into space in the future, we must first study how solar winds can affect our vehicles. Besides, we need to take a closer look at the star nearest to us if we want to learn more about the other stars in the universe. Finally, studying the sun could shed light on the origin of life on Earth, since it is our source of light and heat.

Written by Aqsa Khunshan
I have done Mphil in Biotechnology from Punjab University, Lahore. I love to write about topics that fascinate me; business, startups, health, technology and, women empowerment. I am a foodie, ambivert, and angry anarchist. I have an instinct to learn new things and explore innovative ideas. You can reach out to me at Profile