Nasa has planned to send a spacecraft to the Sun in July 2018. NASA’s Parker Probe is the size of a car and fly straight into the Sun’s atmosphere. This is the first time humanity is trying to create its presence on our star with this solar probe to study the solar winds. You can click here on the link below to send your name to the Sun.
Send Your Name To The Sun
Hurry! The submission ends on 27th April, 2018! You can send your name to the sun by filling up this form. NASA will send your name in the solar probe in the summer of 2018.
Parker Solar Probe
Well, this had to happen one day. Every child while talking about our journey to the moon, often talks about when we’d send a space craft to the Sun. Your dreams have just come true! It’s the Sun’s turn now! NASA is sending a car sized spacecraft which would enter directly into the atmosphere of Sun about 64 lakh kilometres from the Sun’s surface. NASA’s Parker Probe will definitely be a revolutionary step towards our understanding of our star.
- Launch Window: July 31 – Aug. 19, 2018
- Launch Site: NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida
- Launch Vehicle: Delta IV-Heavy with Upper Stage
The Purpose Of The Solar Probe
Our heavenly bodies work in mysterious ways for us to understand. For centuries, human has been creating its own facts and versions about things it doesn’t understand. Science has come around a big time in last 200 years. We have come to know of things we could never understand. Almost 15 crore kilometres away, it is pretty difficult to understand how the Sun’s atmosphere effects the earth. NASA’s Parker Probe will fly inside the Sun’s atmosphere, which is also known as corona and help us learn about the solar winds in a much better manner.
The Flight Plan To The Sun
It is going to be a long journey. NASA’s Parker will travel close to the Sun and gradually descend towards the Sun’s atmosphere. It will take 7 flybys along Venus and use its gravity to bring its orbit closer to the Sun. Slowly it will descend within the orbit of Mercury, closer than any other spacecraft has ever been to the Sun. This will give us knowledge about Sun’s atmosphere and how the solar winds operate.
Since the temperature and radiations are unimaginably high, the spacecraft will be coated with 11.43 cm carbon composite shield that can withstand the temperature up till 1,377 ºC. Circling around the Sun at the speed of approximately 7 Lakh Km/hr, the spacecraft will observe the speed of solar winds from subsonic to supersonic.
Why Do We Need To Study The Sun
Sun is the prime source of energy to our solar system and specially to the earth. Life on earth depends on the Sun. Even the smallest change in the Sun can result in catastrophic changes to the Earth. For over 60 years scientists have been trying to study the closest star to us and how it operates.
Now, with the scientific development, we have made it possible to create a material that can withstand the heat and radiation while still in the solar atmosphere. Learning about the Sun will help us understand how life originated on Earth. That’s not all, since Sun is closest star to the Earth, learning it will help us learn how other stars function. This is going to be a huge breakthrough in the world of science and technology.
How Do The Solar Winds Affect The Earth
The ionised gases caused due to the Solar Winds affect the Earth directly since they pass by us at the speed of 500 km per second. Disturbances in the Solar Winds change the magnetic field of the Earth. This in turn changes the space weather, changes near the Earth’s surface by energising the radiation belts. The change in space weather directly interferes with the satellite’s orbit and also shortens its life.
Not only that, solar winds fill the entire solar system. In this space age, when we are sending space crafts to other planets to study them, we need to learn about the space environment.