Science & Technology

Parker Solar Probe, NASA’s First Flight To Sun Set To Launch In July

| April 9 , 2018 , 18:01 IST

Nasa’s Parker Solar Probe, dubbed as humanity’s first mission to the Sun is undergoing final preparations and is scheduled to launch on July 31.

While facing brutal heat and radiation, the spacecraft will orbit directly through the solar atmosphere where no man-made object has ever gone.

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“There are many milestones to come for Parker Solar Probe and the amazing team of men and women who have worked so diligently to make this mission a reality,” said Andy Driesman, Parker Solar Probe project manager from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in the US.

Claiming thermal protection system (TPS), or heat shield as one of the most critical elements of the spacecraft, Driesman added, “The installation of the TPS will be our final major step before encapsulation and integration onto the launch vehicle.”

The spacecraft throughout its seven-year mission, will explore the Sun’s outer atmosphere and make critical observations to answer decades-old questions about the physics of stars.

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Its data will also be useful in improving forecasts of major eruptions on the Sun and the subsequent space weather events that impact technology on Earth, as well as satellites and astronauts in space.

For the next several months, the spacecraft will undergo comprehensive testing.