NASA has released details of its new ambitious mission and it involves a daredevil spacecraft flying closer to the sun than ever before.
Unveiled at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, where it is being built, the Parker Solar Probe will be about the size of a small car.
It will launch from Earth in June 2018, heading through the sun’s atmosphere over the course of seven years with the help of gravity assists from Venus.
“We’re going to go into the corona, which is the home to many mysteries that have baffled scientists for decades and decades,” said project scientist Nicola Fox at the lab.
Parker Solar Probe
The spacecraft was named after physicist Eugene Parker, who in 1958 predicted the existence of the solar wind. Solar wind is made up of a stream of charged particles originating in the sun that permeates the solar system.