NASA spacecraft blasts off toward sun for closest look yet

Parker Solar Probe launch

No wonder scientists consider it the coolest, hottest mission under the sun, and what better day to launch to the sun than Sunday as NASA noted.

The United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket payload fairing is seen with the NASA and Parker Solar Probe emblems, at Launch Complex 37, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, U.S., August 8, 2018.

NASA on Sunday successfully launched the Parker Solar Probe, the U.S. space agency's historic small car-size probe to 'touch the Sun, ' from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The probe will dip inside this tenuous atmosphere, sampling conditions, and getting to just 6.16 million km (3.83 million miles) from the Sun's broiling "surface".

He proposed the existence of the solar wind 60 years ago. Its closest approach will put it at just 3.8 million miles from the Sun, at which point it should be the fastest-ever human-made object with a speed of 430,000MPH.

Protected by a revolutionary new heat shield, the spacecraft will fly past Venus in October, setting up its first solar encounter in November.

Speechless is not a word typically used to describe Nicky Fox, mission scientist for the Parker Solar Probe at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab. "We've looked at it, we've studied it from missions that are close in - even as close as the planet Mercury - but we have to go there".

As Parker and thousands of others watched, a Delta IV Heavy rocket carried the probe aloft, thundering into the clear, star-studded sky on three pillars of fire that lit up the middle-of-the-night darkness. Along the way, the spacecraft will gather data to try and solve some of the sun's great mysteries. The mission, which hopes to uncover the Sun's mysteries, will accumulate a gamut of data about its structure and magnetic and electric fields, as well as the energetic particles cruising near and away from Earth's star.

Experts say a worst-case scenario could cost up to two trillion dollars in the first year alone and take a decade to fully recover from.

Speaking after the launch, the 91-year-old told NASA TV: "It's a whole new phase and it's going to be fascinating throughout".

The Parker Solar Probe is a satellite about the size of the vehicle, and it is even set to become the fastest moving manmade object history as it fires towards the sun, breaking the record previously set by Pedro Obiang's absolute banger against Spurs last season.

The Parker Solar Probe rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida. To snuggle up to the sun, it will fly past Venus seven times over seven years.

"We've had to wait so long for our technology to catch up with our dreams", Fox said. "In fact, one of the key things about our early orbits is we're actually just at this sort of sweet spot. over the same area of the sun for many, many days, allowing us to do some really incredible science on our very first flyby".

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