Parker Solar Probe: Live streaming of NASA’s historic mission to touch the sun

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NASA is only a few hours away to make history. Parker Solar Probe, which is named after solar physicist Dr Eugene Parker, who was the first to predict the existence of solar wind in 1958, will make its journey to sun’s atmosphere soon. Even though the American space agency has delayed its launch for 24 hours, you can be a witness of this historic journey.

The Parker Solar Probe is designed and programmed to get closer to the centre of the solar system. It is now planned to blast off – on board the mammoth Delta-IV Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Sunday morning.

The project scientist Nicky Fox at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab said in a statement that after spending 60 years to make this fastest-moving object, it will go where no other spacecraft dared to go before, “within the corona of a star.” He also added that “With each orbit, we’ll be seeing new regions of the Sun’s atmosphere and learning things about stellar mechanics that we’ve wanted to explore for decades.”

NASA Live Streaming

The launch was scheduled at 3:33 a.m. EDT on Saturday, but the countdown clock was interrupted when the rocket was on the launch pad. Unfortunately, the officials failed to resolve the issue within the weather window of 65 minutes, so NASA postponed the launch and it will take place on Sunday, August 12 at 3.31 am EDT (SGT 3.31 pm/ IST 1 pm). As told by the space agency the launch will be live streamed on NASA’s website.

Adam Szabo, the spacecraft’s mission scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland said, the American space agency “was planning to send a mission to the solar corona for decades, however, we did not have the technology that could protect a spacecraft and its instruments from the heat.”

“Recent advances in materials science gave us the material to fashion a heat shield in front of the spacecraft not only to withstand the extreme heat of the Sun but to remain cool on the backside,” he further added.

In 2017, NASA clarified that how the journey would be and stated that the solar probe, is going to take the path that will allow the scientists to see the solar wind acceleration and it will go towards the region of space that was not explored before. They also said, “It’s very exciting that we’ll finally get a look. One would like to have some more detailed measurements of what’s going on in the solar wind. I’m sure that there will be some surprises. There always are.”

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