The Amazing Solar Probe - Touching the Sun for the first time


The NASA Parker Solar Probe is man's first mission to touch the sun.

The NASA Parker Solar Probe was launched just a few days ago on a seven-year journey towards the sun. The probe, which took six decades of intense scientific study to create, will ultimately revolutionise our understanding of the Sun, Universe and the weather patterns of Space.

The spacecraft carrying the probe, which is the size of a small car was launched from Earth on a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy Rocket from Space Launch Complex-37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

This NASA experiment will help to gain accurate readings of the weather events in space, which will be a huge improvement from the current methods and instruments in place to read drastic changes in the weather in space. This is extremely valuable as potentially dangerous weather events can have adverse effects on many elements of out of space tools. Bad weather in space can include the damage of satellites and the very real potential of harming astronauts on orbit, disruption of radio communications and disturbances to power grids.

Andy Driesman, the Project Manager of Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, said that the release of this astounding and potentially insightful probe has been an extremely long and demanding scientific exploration that has the ability to really change the way that we on Earth view the sun and to also delve deeper into how it gives us life and why.

The journey of the probe will entail a long and perilous mission towards the big bright sun but thankfully the spacecraft is appearing healthy and working normally. During the first week, the spacecraft will deploy its high gain antenna and magnetometer boom, as well as its first deployment of its electric field antennas. It will take until after September for the probe to begin actual scientific operations. Although in saying that, the spacecraft’s journey itself is an amazing scientific operation.

The probe will begin by flying towards Venus and will then take a handbrake turn –like a directional switch– that will whip the spacecraft around Venus, using the gravitational force to take the spacecraft to a tighter orbit towards the sun. This will be the closest anything manmade has ever came to the sun. During the seven-year journey, the probe will move closer and closer towards the star, getting as close as 3.8 million miles at a record breaking speed of 430,000 miles per hour. The spacecraft will be breaking multiple records for humans in outer space.

The overall mission of the probe is to solve mysteries about the sun that have been questioned since the dawn of time. Even scientists, have seriously sought out answers to many of these questions for over sixty years. With the development of incredibly robust thermal engineering advances, scientists have finally had a breakthrough on this journey towards the scorching life-giver.

The probe contains measurement instruments that will record and study plasma and energetic particles, solar winds and magnetic fields. Leading these studies are the US Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, Berkley, University of California, Princeton University in New Jersey and the University of Michigan. This profound and almost unbelievable scientific mission is dedicated to the Physicist who first discovered and theorised the existence of Solar Wind in 1958, Eugene Parker.

This groundbreaking dedication to studying the strongest life giver to humanity has been a long-winded scientific development that will ultimately change most of what we know about the sun itself and the scientific reactions that happen because of it. Discoveries and scientific evidence will be submitted to Earth in December, 2018.


Story Source:  Materials provided by NASA. (Content may be edited for style) (The photograph provided bears no relation to the study.)