Sci-tech

NASA set to launch Sun probe on Saturday

NASA set to launch Sun probe on Saturday

The satellite will use gravity assist technology to make its closest approach to the sun in 2024.

With the closeness of the Parker Solar Probe to the Sun, WISPR will be capturing images with clarity like never before, he said, because those images actually pick up almost at the same point where the other telescopes loose resolution.

This is a journey into never-never land, you might say, where it's too hot for any sensible spacecraft to function.

The Parker Solar Probe, named after American solar astrophysicist Eugene Parker, will, as the U.S. space agency describes it, "touch the sun" as it flies within 3.9 million miles of the star's surface.

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The meteor shower's peak is expected to occur the night of Sunday, Aug. 12 into the wee hours of Monday morning. If you are in a city, try to get somewhere at least somewhat sheltered from lights, maybe a park or backyard.

The Parker Solar Probe may not look like much: It's about 10 feet (3 meters) tall and more than 3 feet (1 m) across. "To send it into such brutal conditions is highly ambitious", said Nicola Fox, a project scientist from the Johns Hopkins University applied physics laboratory.

At 3:33 a.m. EDT, the Parker Solar Probe will launch from Space Launch Complex 37 on Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The first Venus flyby is in October, followed by the first dip into the sun's corona in November.

And two sets of instruments study those solar-wind particles. Combined, all three stages will give the probe the enormous speed needed to successfully orbit our star.

"We've been inside the orbit of Mercury and done incredible things, but until you go and touch the sun, you can't answer these questions", said Nicola Fox, mission project scientist.

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It's created to take solar punishment like never before, thanks to its revolutionary heat shield that's capable of withstanding 1,370 degrees Celsius (2,500 degrees Fahrenheit).

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. The only way we can do that is to finally go up and touch the sun. The launch of the probe is now scheduled to launch tomorrow (Aug. 11) at 3:33 a.m. EDT (0733 GMT) from NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida.

Researchers hope to learn about solar winds and space weather. And so, these are sort of the three fundamental questions we want to address: "the speed of the solar wind, this eruptive phenomena, solar storms, and how is the corona heated?"

At Parker Solar Probe's closest approach to the Sun, temperatures on the heat shield will reach almost 1,371 degrees Celsius, but the spacecraft and its instruments will be kept at a relatively comfortable temperature of about 29.4 degrees Celsius.

Oil prices down despite reported draw of United States crude inventory
This July, OPEC, Russia and other significant players agreed to gradually raise output for fear of supply deficit on the market. Its flow to Cushing, the US state of Oklahoma, has been reduced, which caused extreme low levels in the energy hub inventories.

United Launch Alliance CEO Tory Bruno told Fox News that Dr. Parker's presence at launch makes the epic mission even more special. Apart from Parker's photo and his research paper are more than 1 million names of space fans who submitted their named to Nasa this past spring.


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