23 July 2018
Reuters reported that NASA is preparing to send its Parker Solar probe “closer to the Sun than any other spacecraft has ventured, enduring wicked heat while zooming through the solar corona to study this outermost part of the stellar atmosphere that gives rise to the solar wind.” The probe is scheduled for an August 6 launch date from Cape Canaveral. Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory Project Scientist Nicola Fox, speaking at a news conference Friday, described the idea to “send a probe where you haven’t been before” as “ambitious,” adding that to “send it into such brutal conditions is highly ambitious.” NASA hopes that data collected by the probe will “enable scientists to forecast changes in Earth’s space environment.” According to NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Solar Scientist Alex Young, it is of “fundamental importance for us to be able to predict this space weather, much like we predict weather here on Earth.” The $1.15 billion project is the “first major mission under NASA’s Living With a Star program.” (Image Credit:  NASA)
More Info (Reuters)