Preparations are all set, and every detail has been taken care of. On Saturday, as long as the weather permits, the NASA is going to send its Parker Solar Probe into space. The mission is unprecedented in the history of humankind.
At the moment, the launch window is scheduled to open precisely at 3:33 a.m. (EDT) and the launch will take place from Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
It’s going to be an unmanned mission with the aim to get as close to Sun as possible, as the same US space agency has said, “touch” the star and gather the information to understand some scientific mysteries larger ones that surround the king star.
The Parker Solar Probe is named after the American astrophysicist Eugene Parker, who studied the dynamics of the Sun and the interplanetary medium in the middle of the 20th century.
“On the one hand, Parker will enter the solar corona and try to establish why this, the outermost layer of the star, is hotter than other more internal,” says Martinez, Colombian astrophysicist.
We know that photo-sphere, which is the part we see of the Sun, has a temperature of approximately 5,500 Kelvin (equivalent to 5526 degrees Celsius), while the corona which is the more external region goes shows the temperature one million Kelvin (999 thousand degrees Celsius), whereas the logic tells us it should have a much lower temperature.
Once Parker Solar Probe leaves the Earth, it will go to Venus and push itself seven times with the help of gravity of the Venus in order to conserve its fuel.
Later, the probe will be installed in the orbit of the Sun, in the same way as the thousands of satellites that today revolve around the Earth. Parker will begin to make flybys in an elliptical trajectory about its goal, getting closer and closer to it while collecting valuable scientific information.
The device will reach speeds of up to 720 thousand kilometers per hour, making the Parker the fastest vehicle created by man.
But, with all security, the greatest feat of the mission will be to enter the highest temperature zone of the Sun without melting and ruining the hundreds of millions of dollars that cost its development. This is a major challenge for the dozens of research institutes as a part of the mission.
The event will start before the launch window opens and NASA will be providing live commentary on the mission as they did with the longest lunar eclipse of the century, a few days back. You can watch the live stream on their YouTube channel.
The Solar Parker Sonar is designed to operate until 2025. At the end of its spectacular voyage through space, it will have flown over the Sun 24 times, ‘ripping’ its crown and challenging nature like no other space adventure. Once the task is completed, the probe will have an outcome worthy of its mission.
This is how Buitrago describes it; “Once the Parker runs out of fuel, it will completely atomize and its particles will spread through the solar system giving more details on solar wind.