NASA Is Finally Sending a Mission to Touch the Sun
NASA has visited very impressive places in the last 60 years, so it is surprising that the space agency has not yet found its way into the sun. The New Horizons spacecraft, which flew by Pluto in the summer of 2015, is now 3.5 billion miles (5.6 billion km); Voyager 1, launched in 1977, has left the solar system in its entirety, across space at a distance of 11.7 billion miles (18.9 billion kilometers) from Earth.
The sun, for its part, is reach by cosmic standards, only 93 million miles (150 million km). And while it takes a lot of triangulation to get to Pluto, the sun is a little difficult to overlook. Just point and shoot.
The problem, of course, is that the sun is not surprising here, very hot. Temperatures in the corona – storm plasma that extends millions of miles into space and manifest during a solar eclipse – approach 553 000 ° C (1 million degrees F). There is a reason why the nearest spacecraft has reached the solar home was 27 million kilometers (43 million km), a brush comparative by the Helios 2 spacecraft in 1976.
Now, however, NASA plans to get closer – much closer. At a press conference on May 31, NASA formally announces details and launch date of Solar Probe Plus satellites, a ship leaves Earth next summer, in a window of 20 days from July 31 to August 19 Of 2018 (see the live streaming of the press conference on Time.com).
There are many things that makes the mission extraordinary planned. Its approach close to the sun, an expected distance of 3.8 million miles (6.1 million km), leads to the crown and the first time a man-made machine has reached a star coach. This contact will not only be a unique thing. The spacecraft will enter a separate orbit from the sun in November 2018 and will make up to 24 narrow approaches until June 2025. Each orbit takes about 88 days to complete – similar to Mercury’s orbit of the sun – and its advanced speed, Boat will move at 450,000 km / h (724,000 kph), or fast enough to get from Philadelphia to Washington, DC, in a second.