NASA’s most ambitious project yet, with the all famous Parker Solar Probe mission being the first human attempt to get up close and personal with the searing ball of gasses we call Sun. The probe is set to be launched in July 2018, and is planned to get within 3.9 million miles (6.2 million kilometers) of the sun, which is seven times closer than any previous attempt!
The Parker Solar Probe will endure the scorching heat of the sun thanks to a specially designed shield made out of carbon-carbon resin that can withstand temperatures up to 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit (1,370 degrees Celsius) and solar radiation intensities about 475 times higher than what reaches the Earth. Of course, the specially designed cooling mechanism also goes a long way in preserving the electronics of the probe.
If the Parker Solar Probe mission goes as planned, it will orbit the sun 24 times between 2018 and 2025 and will help gather priceless data about the sun’s constituents, magnetic, and electric fields along with tracking energetic particles near and away from from the sun. The researchers hope to use this data and get closer to solving the mystery of solar wind acceleration and the higher temperature of corona than sun surface out of this mission.
“This temperature inversion is a big mystery that no one has been able to explain,” says Nicola Fox, project scientist for the Parker Solar Probe.
View the elaborate infographic to learn more about the mission:
Finally, here is a video