NASA launches probe toward Sun's corona

8/12/2018, 10:31 AM
NASA launches probe toward Sun's corona

An unmanned spacecraft started its journey on Sunday from Cape Canaveral to our star. The Parker Solar Probe is planned to fly by the Sun in November in a historic mission to study the corona. It should return to the atmosphere's edge six times by December 2024, with laps back to beyond the orbit of Venus. The final stage is getting it within 3.8 million miles (6.1 million kilometers) from the Sun's surface, more than seven times closer than Helios 2 came in 1976.

The car-sized object, operated by the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration, was lifted by United Launch Alliance's Delta IV Heavy. The probe, which cost $1.5 billion, is designed to develop a speed of a record 430,000 miles (692,000 kilometers) per hour.

ULA is a joint venture of Lockheed Martin Corp.'s Space Systems and Boeing Co.'s Defense, Space & Security. The launch was postponed by one day in the last minutes.

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