Parker Solar Probe launches Saturday on mission to 'touch' the sun

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When it leaves Earth, it will be going too fast to get to the Sun. In seven years, the probe will be within four million miles of the sun's surface. We use Venus to give us a gravity assist, if I can have that Venus thing. The probe will orbit around the Sun 24 times, its closest point ultimately being 3.8 million miles.

The Parker Solar Probe has gained a lot of fame as humanity's first mission to finally unlock the secrets of the solar corona and find out why it's so much hotter than the actual surface of the sun.

Parker also received a tour of Kennedy Space Center.

The project, with a $1.5bn (€1.3bn) price tag, is the first major space mission under Nasa's "Living With a Star" programme.

Researchers hope to learn about solar winds and space weather.

"Launch teams are working on technical issues and weather is predicted to be 70 per cent chance of favourable conditions", NASA said in a tweet late on Thursday. About the size of a small auto, it weighs a mere 1,400 pounds. "And it needs to be, because it takes an huge amount of energy to get to our final orbit around the Sun".

NASA managers have cleared the $1.5 billion Parker Solar Probe for launch early Saturday on a daring mission to "touch the sun". As we go from the surface of the sun, which is 10,000 degrees, and move up into the corona, we find ourselves quickly at millions of degrees. According to parker, he will get approximately seven times closer to the sun than before.

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This will also help fine-tune the probe's orbit around the star - close enough to do its science, but not so close that the sun will burn it up or pull it down. The 91-year-old scientist will be present to view the launch when the spacecraft takes off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. They can also affect satellites' orbits and lifetimes, causing trouble on Earth when we aren't able to receive the signals we need.

The heat shield is made of a 4.5-inch thick carbon composite foam material between two carbon fibre face sheets.

The Space Agency says the probe will travel up to 430,000 miles per hour and have to withstand temperatures near 2,500 degrees. Over the next seven years, the Parker Solar Probe will fly by Venus seven times, using the planet's gravity to bring itself closer to the Sun each time.

The spacecraft will hit 6,90,000 kmph in the corona at closest approach. Furthermore, some solar particles manage to accrue enough energy in the corona to reach half the speed of light, yet the mechanisms behind this phenomenon are unclear.

These radioactive storms are so powerful they are able to knock out satellites, disrupt services such as communications and Global Positioning System, threaten aircraft and in even interfere with electricity supplies. His career has involved studying energetic particles.

All of our data on the corona so far have been remote.

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