NASA launches historic probe to 'touch Sun'

Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar

The predawn skies lit up like daylight as a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy lifted off at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station here, carrying the Parker Solar Probe on humanity's first mission to touch the sun.

The probe was ferried by one of the most powerful rockets now available, the Delta IV Heavy rocket, built and operated by United Launch Alliance.

Additionally, the third stage includes the STAR 49BV solid rocket motor, which is created to place the spacecraft into its final trajectory.

Dr Nicky Fox, the project scientist for NASA's Parker Solar Probe mission, was born and raised in Hitchin and went to school at St Francis' College in Letchworth. The spacecraft is scheduled to complete 24 orbits around the sun during its seven-year mission.

The landmark mission will allow scientists to make observations the likes of which have never been available to us, and as a space enthusiast and big-time appreciator of the Sun's life giving gig, I chose to tag along - or at least, my name did. "All I have to say is wow, here we go".

Sunday's flight marked the 129th successful flight for ULA, and the 10th for the Delta IV Heavy rocket.

Students bombed as more than 90 die in Afghan attacks
The spokesman, Najib Danish, says at least 35 people were also wounded in the attack on Wednesday afternoon. Rahmani said 43 troops were killed and wounded. "It was horrific and numerous students were torn to pieces".

Retail inflation slows to 9-month low at 4.17%
The rise in global fuel prices has led to a continuous increase in inflation in the fuel and light segment, Mr. As measured by the Consumer Price Index , it stood at 1.6% in July, down from 2.6% the previous month.

Post-Ronaldo Real Madrid gets it first test
Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid UEFA Super Cup match will be played at the Tallinn Stadium in Estonia. But in terms of motivation we never feel beneath anyone.

For the second straight day, thousands of spectators jammed the launch site in the middle of the night as well as surrounding towns, including 91-year-old astrophysicist Eugene Parker for whom the spacecraft is named. It was the first time NASA named a spacecraft after someone still alive. Well not quite to it but near it - the probe will be venturing to within a mere 3.8 million miles from the surface of the sun. Among the puzzlers: Why is the corona hundreds of times hotter than the surface of the sun and why is the sun's atmosphere continually expanding and accelerating, as the University of Chicago's Parker accurately predicted in 1958? In 1958, when Parker explained his concept of streaming particles from the Sun there were no takers.

"Today's launch was the culmination of six decades of scientific study and millions of hours of effort", said project manager Andy Driesman, of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Md.

"The spacecraft is power positive and that's where we want to be", said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA's science mission directorate.

Parker will slingshot around Venus multiple times in order to gain momentum and with each orbit, it will gradually move closer and closer to the sun. We've studied it from missions that are close in, even as close as the planet Mercury.

According to NASA officials, engineers added a heat shield made of a 4.5-inch thick carbon composite foam material between two carbon fiber face sheets to keep the instruments at the "relatively comfortable temperature" of 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29.4 degrees Celsius).

Related:

Comments

Latest news

Priyanka Chopra flashes ring, set to host engagement party
There were reports that he had shut down a Tiffany store in London to get the right match for PC. "They are so happy". Neither Chopra nor Jonas has officially confirmed their engagement or even that they are together at all.

Twitter Suspends Alex Jones For Inciting Violence
Then Twitter responded to a CNN investigation by admitting that some Jones tweets were in violation, and deleted them. The company has policies against harassment and hate speech, but does not ban accounts for posting false information.

A Year Later Cortana and Alexa Are FINALLY Working Together
The feature would work by using the keywords "Open Cortana" on the Alexa, which opens a portal onto the Cortana service. What's most intriguing - and refreshing - about this move by Amazon and Microsoft is that it's so unexpected.

University of Maryland Accepts Responsibility For Football Player's Death
Several members of the football program have come under fire for being mentally and physically abusive to the student-athletes. Results from the investigation into McNair's death are expected by mid-September and an attorney for the family, William H.

Tencent's shares down as China declines new game
They could choose to continue playing but there would be no guarantee the service would continue, it said. Other Chinese game developers also lost ground on Wednesday after reports of the approval freeze emerged.

Kevin de Bruyne: Man City midfielder suffers knee injury in training
He missed two months of the 2015/16 Premier League season after that injury; City will be hoping that this injury is less serious. De Bruyne, 27, is expected to fly to Barcelona for further tests with specialist Dr.

Erdogan says Turkey to 'boycott' U.S. electronic goods
Investors are anxious that about Erdogan's control over the central bank and his pressure to keep it from raising interest rates. Turkey is increasing tariffs on imports of United States products, escalating a feud that has also triggered a currency crisis.

Willian: I would have left Chelsea if Antonio Conte had stayed
Chelsea welcome London rivals Arsenal to Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening and we've got some early team news ahead of the game. Willian eventually chose to remain with the Blues after Conte was replaced by compatriot Maurizio Sarri in July.

India aims to send astronauts into space by 2022, Modi says
By 2022, "a son or daughter of India will go to space with a tricolour in hand", PM Modi said from the ramparts of Red Fort . The target echoed that set by John F Kennedy in 1961 to land an American on the Moon by the end of the decade.

Turkey to boycott United States products including iPhone, says Erdogan
Turkey has suffered the most from the feud, which has helped push its currency, the lira, to record lows against the dollar. In this July 25, 2018 photo, evangelical pastor Andrew Craig Brunson, center, arrives at his house in Izmir, Turkey.

Juventus Deal-Maker Could Consider Offer To Join Manchester United
Former Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane has reportedly been lined up for a shock move to the English Premier League .

21-year-old woman becomes youngest in USA to receive face transplant
At 21, she received a transplant at the Cleveland Clinic, making her the youngest person in the U.S.to receive a face transplant . There is the chance of numerous complications, including that her body will reject the new face and it will have to be removed.

Akshay Kumar Meets Hockey Legend from 1948 Ahead of 'Gold' Release
The actor asks the driver if freedom fighter Lokmanya Tilak is his father as the road lane is named: "Lokmanya Tilak Road". Akshay shared a special video on social media to celebrate 70 years of the iconic moment.

Bayer shares nosedive after Monsanto weedkiller cancer ruling
Louis-based company which was acquired by Bayer pharmaceuticals in June - denies claims that Roundup can cause cancer. On two separate occasions, he was "soaked" in the weedkiller after a hose broke.

No Signings? No Problem for Spurs as Alli Sinks Newcastle
Speaking after the game, he said: "I told you [the other day] that numerous players returned in a good condition". Vertonghen told Spurs TV: "I haven't scored in the Premier League for a while, so I was happy to score".

Other news