NASA Announces Its First Mission To Touch The Sun: Watch Live

Posted: May 30 2017, 7:26am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

NASA Announces its First Mission to Touch the Sun: Watch Live
This illustrations depicts the Solar Probe Plus spacecraft leaving Earth, after separating from its launch vehicle and booster rocket, bound for the inner solar system and an unprecedented study of the Sun. Credits: JHU/APL
  • NASA’s Novel Mission: Today the Moon, Tomorrow the Sun

NASA has a novel mission up its sleeve. It is one that can only be captured in the phrase: “Today the moon, tomorrow the sun”.

NASA has big plans for the future. Just recently it announced that a new probe will be sent from its premises into outer space and it will literally touch the sun. This solar probe mission will be dealing with temperatures that are so high that just contemplating them is a mindboggling task.

The new mission is called Solar Probe Plus and it is scheduled to launch in the summer of 2018.

According to NASA, "Placed in orbit within four million miles of the sun’s surface, and facing heat and radiation unlike any spacecraft in history, the spacecraft will explore the sun’s outer atmosphere and make critical observations that will answer decades-old questions about the physics of how stars work. The resulting data will improve forecasts of major space weather events that impact life on Earth, as well as satellites and astronauts in space."

According to Science Alert even the radiation levels at that distance from the solar surface is enough to reduce any electronic and computerized equipment to a twitching mush.

The information it will send back to the earth will allow astronomers to gauge solar storms beforehand and also to delve into some of the enigmas surrounding our sun.

Way back in 1976, the Helios 2 reached a range that was 27 million miles away from the sun. The study of solar winds and cosmic rays was the sole purpose of this mission.

Our global village has grown into a technological haven ever since those good old days. The only problem is that this high tech network is very fragile with respect to solar phenomenon that get a bit extreme at times.

To better our savvy regarding our home star, NASA is going to leave such missions as Helios 2 way behind. The new solar probe will take to the skies sometime in August of 2018.

It will circulate the sultry atmosphere of Venus a total of seven times before approaching at a distance that is the closest any man-made object has ever come to the sun. It will be a very bold and extreme act and one which is barely imaginable for many of us humans on earth.

Temperatures of upto 1400 degrees Celsius will be impinging on the walls of the solar probe. Yet the strange thing is that the internal conditions will be kept at a normal room temperature. This is thanks to the heat shield of this probe.

According to Metro this is a carbon composite shield. Such missions may seem to be impractical on a mundane level yet such is hardly the case in reality.

They are a necessary adjunct that needs to be finalized before any human communities could colonize the moon, Mars or any other planet of the solar system for that matter.

As the situation on earth deteriorates with environmental pollution, nuclear fallout and resource depletion at an all-time high, the developed nations will be looking forward to space as the final frontier where a new existence could be perpetuated by the human race.

You can watch NASA's big announcement about the new Solar Probe Plus mission to touch the Sun live tomorrow.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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