NASA invites media to view launch of mission to “Touch the Sun”

The spacecraft will launch on a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket from Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida.

Artist’s concept of NASA’s Parker Solar Probe. The spacecraft will fly through the Sun’s corona to trace how energy and heat move through the star’s atmosphere. Credits: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL
Artist’s concept of NASA’s Parker Solar Probe. The spacecraft will fly through the Sun’s corona to trace how energy and heat move through the star’s atmosphere. Credits: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL

In order to revolutionize our understanding of the sun, NASA made an announcement about their mission to ‘Touch the Sun’. For, that, they designed a spacecraft called Parker Solar Probe.

Unlike any other probe, this Solar Probe Plus mission will have to cope with temperatures and radiation. It will collect the data during the process and help astronomers predict solar storms. In addition, it will provide clues on some of the deepest mysteries surrounding our closest star.

To study sun’s surface, its solar winds and cosmic rays, previously in 1976, a 370-kilogram (815-pound) block of instruments called Helios 2 came within about 43 million kilometers.

The spacecraft has the size of a car. Covered with revolutionary a 4.5-inch-thick (11.43 cm) carbon-composite heat shield, it will fly through the outermost part of the sun’s atmosphere, called corona.

It will trace how energy and heat move through the sun’s corona and to explore what accelerates the solar wind as well as solar energetic particles.

Now, Nasa invited media for the launch of NASA’s Parker Solar Probe, a historic mission that will revolutionize our understanding of the Sun. The launch window will open at about 4 a.m. EDT, with an approximate one-hour duration, no earlier than Saturday, Aug. 4.

The spacecraft will launch on a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket from Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida. Media prelaunch and launch activities will take place at CCAFS and NASA’s neighboring Kennedy Space Center.

Media interested in attending prelaunch and launch activities must submit an accreditation request online here.

Credentialing deadlines are as follows:

  • International media without U.S. citizenship must apply by 4:30 p.m. Thursday, July 5, for access to CCAFS, or by 4:30 p.m. Friday, July 20, for access to Kennedy media activities only.
  • U.S. media must apply by 4:30 p.m. Friday, July 27.

Launch date schedule updates will be posted here.

Parker Solar Probe is part of NASA’s Living with a Star Program, managed by the agency’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, designed, built and manages the mission for NASA.