August 12 2018, Sunday, marks a historical date for humanity. It is indeed a great deal for the people on earth to look forward to the launch of Parker Solar probe. Moreover, the solar mission plan was a big leap for NASA space agency as well.
The unique space mission was set to launch on Saturday but was delayed. The helium pressure problem scrubs the launch. But NASA took care of the technical glitch. And initiated the launch procedure on Sunday at 3.31 a.m ET. The launch delay could crush the hopes of many scientists working on the Solar Probe for years. But now the things are optimistic for them as well as science lovers across the globe.
NASA on its twitter handle tweeted “Tomorrow’s launch of our Parker
#SolarProbe spacecraft marks the beginning of a historic journey to fly closer to Sun than any other human-made object. Here’s what we hope to learn from the mission that launches at 3:31 am ET on Sunday, Aug. 12: https://youtu.be/7SQ3kLhXpS4”
However, it really intrigued the scientists about the nature of our Sun from the beginning. Only time and resources meshed with brilliant minds have made the solar mission possible. Delta IV Heavy rocket, built by United Launch Alliance, sent the Parker Solar Probe to space. The spacecraft is unmanned. And it will help the probe to reach near the mysterious atmosphere of the SUN, called corona.
The Solar mission
The historic solar mission will revolutionize the understanding of sun. Parker Solar Probe will employ a combination of measurements and imaging to revolutionize understanding of the corona and expand knowledge of the origin. It will also make critical contributions to forecast changes in Earth’s space environment that affect life and technology on Earth.
The goals for the mission are to trace how energy and heat move through the solar corona. And to explore what accelerates the solar wind as well as solar energetic particles. Today, this is finally possible with cutting-edge thermal engineering advances that can protect the mission on its dangerous journey. Parker Solar Probe will carry four instrument suites designed to study magnetic fields, plasma and energetic particles, and image the solar wind.
“The path to the sun is “the most, most challenging in all space exploration,” as Dr. Yanping Guo, the Johns Hopkins researcher who plotted the trajectory writes of the journey that will take the probe past Venus a record seven times:
Parker Solar Probe
The most interesting part is the nomenclature of the solar probe. It is named after an astrophysicist. A winknews article reveals the name and the person. His name was Eugene Parker. A brilliant student and a lover of astrophysics.
He also was the first person to illuminate the world with solar winds. He believed that in addition to heat, sun also sets out supersonic waves. These waves are naturally occurring phenomenon. And these are evident in space as well.
- Earth’s atmosphere bombarded with solar radiation, commonly known as The Northern Lights.
- The tail of the comets are always away from the sun.
His belief was that solar wind blew the tail outward and thus it led to the solar mission. And a journey to build an object which will get close to the sun and provide us with relevant knowledge.
The Parker solar Probe is a project of estimated $1.5 billion. Moreover, a major mission under NASA’s living with a star Program.
- The probe will eventually use Venus’ gravity to orbit around the Sun. There will be seven flybys and the probe will stay nearly seven years in space.
- It weighs around 1500 lb fully computerized. It can reach up to a speed of 430,000 miles an hour.
- The heat shields on the probe most probably will help it to sustain temperature almost 1400 Degree Celsius.