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NASA’s solar probe to the Sun

Artist’s illustration of NASA’s Parker Solar Probe spacecraft approaching the sun.
Artist’s illustration of NASA’s Parker Solar Probe spacecraft approaching the sun.

US: You can be a part of NASA’s maiden mission to touch the sun. You don’t need to have an astrophysics degree or be an expert of the cosmos. You simply have to give your name.

NASA has invited general public to send their names to be featured on its Parker solar probe that will be sent to sun’s atmosphere this summer. The spacecraft will travel to the sun’s atmosphere this July and your name can travel along. To sweeten the deal, Star Trek star William Shatner’s name would be among the many names that will be carried aboard the probe on a microchip, NASA announced on Twitter.

“The spacecraft will also carry my name to the sun, and your name, and the names of everyone who wants to join this voyage of extreme exploration,” the Star Trek actor said in a promotional video.

The Parker probe is scheduled to start its journey towards the sun’s atmosphere on July 31, coming as close as 4 million miles from its surface.

To protect itself from the intense heat of the sun, the spacecraft and instruments will be protected by a 4.5-inch-thick carbon-composite shield which will keep the insides at a comfortable room temperature. The aim of the mission is to study how the solar wind and energy affect Earth and other worlds.

“This incredible spacecraft is going to reveal so much about our star and how it works that we’ve not been able to understand,” said project scientist Nicola Fox of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.

Although as small as a car, the probe is so fast, it can travel from Washington DC to Tokyo in under a minute, a NASA statement said.

“Parker Solar Probe is, quite literally, the fastest, hottest - and, to me, coolest - mission under the sun,” Ms Fox said. - NDTV


 

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