Mission to orbit sun 24 times in nearly 7 years
By Kubra Chohan
The U.S space agency Sunday launched a probe that aims to travel closer to the sun than ever before.
NASA’s Parker Solar Probe rocket lifted off from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
“Booster ignition and liftoff of the United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket at 3:31 a.m. EDT [0731GMT],” said NASA in a statement.
The Parker Solar Probe will aim to travel through and study the sun’s outer atmosphere.
“The mission will revolutionize our understanding of the Sun, where changing conditions can propagate out into the solar system, affecting Earth and other worlds,” NASA said.
“The spacecraft will use seven Venus flybys and 24 orbits over nearly seven years to gradually reduce its orbit around the Sun,” it added.
The mission was named after American solar astrophysicist Eugene Parker, 91, who has proposed a number of concepts about how stars give off energy.