NASA is set to launch the Parkar Solar Probe into the sun’s scorching atmosphere to see how the star works and what can be done to better predict space weather events on Earth. The spacecraft needs to survive temperatures as high as 2,500° Fahrenheit, impacts by supersonic particles, and powerful radiation, as it circles as close as 4-million-miles to the sun. “We’re going to be seven times closer (to the sun) than any other mission has ever been,” said project scientist Nicola Fox. Continue reading for a video news report, and more information.
Parkar is expected to orbit the sun 24-times, inching closer on each pass. The small car-sized probe will be outfitted with five science instruments to measure and sample the sun’s corona. Designed / built by the Johns Hopkins University laboratory, it’s scheduled to launch in July 2018 and fly around Venus seven times to get itself into orbit around the sun in December 2024.