Science

Engility supports NASA Parker Solar Probe mission to 'touch the sun'

Engility supports NASA Parker Solar Probe mission to 'touch the sun'

NASA was prepping up for a long time to launch its Parker Solar Probe, which is slated to reach the atmosphere of the Sun.

The Delta-IV Heavy rocket - which was carrying the probe - launched at 03:31 local time (07:31 GMT) from Cape Canaveral in Florida. It will fly around the sun in an elliptical orbit and the minimum perihelion - the point in its orbit when it is closest - with the surface of the sun will be about 6.1 million kilometers, much shorter than that of Mercury, which is the planet closest to the white dwarf star at the center of our solar system. This would make it the fastest moving space vehicle ever.

The Science of the Sun Flying into the part of the Sun's atmosphere known as the corona for the first time and will employ four instrument suites created to study electric and magnetic fields, plasma, and energetic particles, as well as image the solar wind. The event was streamed live on NASA television and the website. The media reported on every aspect of this mission, from its name, which is given after a living person solar physicist Dr. Eugene Parker, to the probe's active shield.




Parker Solar Probe will be facing a lot of heat and radiation and will be absorbing temperatures as high as 2500 degree Fahrenheit. Once it reaches space, the craft needs to drop 53000 miles per hour of sideways motion to skim the sun's atmosphere. That's why the Delta IV Heavy was used as it has more thrust than the normal ones. Parker will reach 430,000 miles per hour on its final orbits, bolstered by the Sun's extreme gravity to become the fastest human-made object.

According to Yan Yihua, president of Division E Sun and Heliosphere, International Astronomical Union, the observation range of the CSRH and the Parker Solar Probe will overlap and it's possible that the two will cooperate in the future for specific scientific tasks.

The corona gives rise to the solar wind, a continuous flow of charged particles that permeates the solar system. NASA hopes the findings will enable scientists to forecast changes in Earth's space environment.


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