What you need to know about NASA's mission to touch the sun

Artist’s concept of the Solar Probe Plus spacecraft approaching the sun. Pic Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

There will be 24 orbits between Venus and the sun, with the final three putting Parker closest to the sun - just six million kilometres out - in 2024 and 2025.

Understanding more about solar activity could help scientists forecast the large eruptions from the sun that pose a threat to satellite and communications systems.

Through this mission, NASA is hoping to solve decades-old mysteries around what accelerates the solar winds that affect Earth and other planets.

The probe is relying on a 4.5 inch carbon heat shield which has taken 10 years to develop and which is so strong it will survive for billions of years even when the rest of the spacecraft has disintegrated. In reality, it will aim to eventually reach about 3.8 million miles away, well within the sun's atmosphere.

The probe's mission is to dip into the solar atmosphere and deduce how the rarefied gasses there are heated to millions of degrees centigrade when the solar surface itself is just 6,000°C.

The heat shield is built to withstand radiation equivalent up to about 500 times the Sun's radiation here on Earth.

Scorching, yes? But if all works as planned, the inside of the spacecraft should stay at just 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Whitmer wins Democratic nomination for MI governor
Clair Shores, who voted for Whitmer. "I will not be governor managing Michigan's decline into a smaller, less significant state. Whitmer also went after Bill Schuette and the eight years MI has spent with a Republican governor in office.

Fortnite for Android goes "off market"
Most developers just deal with that because having your title in the Play Store makes it easier to reach a large audience. If you're running Android 9 Pie on a compatible phone, you can download Digital Wellbeing now from the Google Play Store .

Tottenham first Premier League team to fail to make one summer signing
Pochettino says he is glad to keep his Spurs squad together amid speculation surrounding his stars. I am so proud of them because they were very focused on trying to arrive in a very good condition.

Scientists have had to take great care to make sure that the Parker Solar Probe doesn't burn up in the process of conducting its important science.

"The sun is full of mysteries", said Nicky Fox, project scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab. "We know the questions we want to answer".

The Parker Solar Probe will endure tremendous heat while zooming through the solar corona to study this outermost part of the stellar atmosphere that gives rise to the solar wind. Despite skepticism, NASA's Mariner 2 spacecraft proved Parker right in 1962. The spacecraft will make a total of seven orbits around Venus.

Solar wind can create a whole host of issues for humans - from messing with Global Positioning System communications to exposing astronauts in space to high radiation - and the Parker Solar Probe is launching on a mission to figure out where it comes from.

Tools on board will measure high energy particles associated with flares and coronal mass ejections, as well as the changing magnetic field around the Sun.

When it nears the Sun, the probe will travel rapidly enough to go from NY to Tokyo in one minute - some 430,000 miles per hour, making it the fastest human-made object.

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Kessler's Permit Approved for August 12 DC Rally
Aug 11, 2018 - 20:17
Two Virginia State Police officers also died in a helicopter crash while assisting police activity related the the rally. Coalition is producing a "Still Here, Still Strong" rally to counter " Unite the Right 2 " starting at noon Sunday.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Alexis Sanchez Claims Manchester United 'Need To Sign' Big Name Players
Aug 11, 2018 - 19:12
Manchester United host Leicester City tonight for the eagerly-anticipated 2018/19 Premier League season curtain raiser. Jose Mourinho has cut a miserable figure all summer after only signing Fred , Diogo Dalot and Lee Grant .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top AC Milan trying to reach Tiémoué Bakayoko agreement
Aug 11, 2018 - 18:52
The signing of Matteo Kovacic on loan from Real Madrid and Jorginho from Napoli further casted Bakayoko's future in doubt. Now though Sky is reporting that talks are well advanced for Bakayoko, with a loan with option to buy being discussed.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Five things to look out for in the Premier League this season
Aug 11, 2018 - 17:50
This weekend the most-watched league in the world kicks off for another nine months of goals, red cards, spats and controversy.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top 'Suicidal Male' Steals Plane And Crashes After 'Unauthorized Takeoff' From Sea-Tac
Aug 11, 2018 - 14:12
The sheriff says that the man is a Pierce County resident, and that it is believed that he is the only casualty from the crash . Two F-15s fighter jets pursued the plane but were not involved in the crash , local TV station KIRO7 reported.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Trump doubles tariffs on Turkish metals
Aug 11, 2018 - 13:54
This is double the level the president imposed on a range of countries earlier this year, including European Union member states. Turkey's currency fell Friday after its economy was rattled by the United States' move to slap the country with more tariffs .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Unai Emery: 'Pep Guardiola is a better manager than me'
Aug 11, 2018 - 11:46
Vida has been frequently linked with a move to the Premier League during the summer with Liverpool also interested. But these five players are in this possibility to be the captain'.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top At least four dead in Fredericton shooting
Aug 11, 2018 - 08:42
David MacCoubrey woke up to the sound of gunfire outside. "I am hoping that we will be able to put something like that together". Genine Patricia Paul-Dimitracopoulos met Constable Costello almost 15 years ago in her role as a social worker with St.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Jurgen Klopp insists club 'are still Rocky Balboa’
Aug 11, 2018 - 08:05
At the end, I'm pretty sure we have a fantastic football team on the pitch and hopefully I have to make a few decisions. We are in for an entertaining 90 minutes at Anfield, so here is everything you need to know about the match...

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Cam Newton, Kelvin Benjamin exchange words
Aug 11, 2018 - 05:15
Neither will get the opportunity to hash things out since the two teams do not face each other in the upcoming season. He also reiterated that he was "moving on" from his comments about Newton. "Not at all man", he answered.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top College hoops coach threw punch killing NYC tourist
Aug 10, 2018 - 15:22
Szabo, a 35-year-old man from Boca Raton, Fla., was in town for a wedding. "We're going to say one thing and that's all". Jones, a Philadelphia native, previously coached at Central Florida, Virginia Commonwealth and Florida Gulf Coast.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Everton seal hat-trick of deadline day deals
Aug 10, 2018 - 14:51
Manchester United had been competing with the Toffees for Mina, but the Old Trafford club pulled out of negotiations that morning. The Club reserves the right to buy back the player.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Saudi airline stops flights to Canada amid escalating diplomatic row
Aug 10, 2018 - 13:28
The Maple Leaf flag is seen in a display case in the Hall of Honour on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015. In response, the Saudi government has expelled Canada's ambassador from the country and frozen all new trade with Canada.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Gautam Gambhir believes Lord’s Test can decide India’s fate in the series
Aug 10, 2018 - 13:09
Hosts England lead the five-match series after their 31-run victory in the gripping first Test at Birmingham. With rainfall forecasted for Friday, another frustrating day with a lot of interruptions is on the cards.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Korea slams U.S. officials for sanctions
Aug 10, 2018 - 11:24
It has urged Washington to take reciprocal steps including officially declaring an end to the war and dropping sanctions. The warnings come just days after North Korea's foreign minister called U.S. actions "alarming".