ibusinesslines.com
ibusinesslines.com November 19, 2018


Last-minute technical problem delays NASA's flight to sun

12 August 2018, 11:43 | Justin Tyler

Last-minute technical problem delays NASA's flight to sun

Last-minute technical problem delays NASA's flight to sun

The probe was scheduled to take off from Florida's Cape Canaveral at 9.28am United Kingdom time, but just one minute and 55 seconds before launch it was cancelled after a technical fault.

The heavily shielded Parker Solar Probe will make 24 such close flybys over the next seven years, getting within just 3.83 million miles (6.16 million kilometers) of the sun's surface at closest approach.

The probe is named after Eugene Parker, a solar physicist who in 1958 first predicted the existence of the solar wind, the stream of charged particles and magnetic fields that flow continuously from the Sun.

Even in a region where temperatures can reach more than a million degrees Fahrenheit, the sunlight is expected to heat the shield to just around 2,500 deg F (1,371 deg C).

The probe is set to use seven Venus flybys over almost seven years to gradually reduce its orbit around the Sun, using instruments created to image the solar wind and study electric and magnetic fields, coronal plasma and energetic particles.

"Today, this is finally possible with cutting-edge thermal engineering advances that can protect the mission on its risky journey".

The powerful Delta 4 Heavy and a solid-propellant upper stage will provide the energy needed to counteract Earth's 18-mile-per-second orbital velocity, allowing the Parker Solar Probe to fall into the inner solar system.


The launch now is planned for Sunday, August 12, from Space Launch Complex-37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

NASA stated: "Parker Solar Probe will provide unprecedented information about our sun, where changing conditions can spread out into the solar system to affect Earth and other worlds".

It will take six years to reach its closest point to the sun, in 2024, by using Venus' gravity to bring itself nearer to the star. When it runs out of fuel, it will stay in the sun's orbit in perpetuity.

Image: An illustration of the probe leaving Earth.

Among the questions NASA is seeking to answer are why the corona is hotter than the sun's surface, as well as why the atmospheres is continually expanding and continually accelerating away from the star.

"The sun is full of mysteries", said Nicky Fox, project scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab.



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