NASA bucks-up to launch probe into the Sun by 2018

Image courtesy:

Having deadlines set for 2018, NASA is fast approaching the launch of a solar probe. The American space agency announced week that its Solar Probe Plus mission has passed a huge milestone.

This unprecedented and daring to dive into the Sun is driven by the possibilities of understanding solar activities such as solar winds and solar flares which in fact attributes to the driving forces of space weather.

Besides, solar activity which include high energy radiation discharges, are  powerful enough to disrupt the normal functioning of man made satellites and power distribution on Earth.

Image courtesy: Youtube
Image courtesy: Youtube

Solar Probe Plus mission will kick start with the launch of a spaceship that will complete 24 orbits around the sun and seven flybys around the planet Venus so as to get it closer to the fireball. The probe will dive into Corona – the outer atmosphere of the Sun.

During the closest orbit around the Sun, the probe will be only 6.4 million kilometers away from it. That means the spacecraft will encounter 500 times more solar intensity than a regular satellite which orbits Earth.

The probe will allow scientists to have a better understanding of other features of the Sun like huge hole on it and solar storms which is considered hazardous to electronics back on Earth. According to a report in the Science magazine Inquisitr, scientists believe that these Solar winds are so dangerous to electronics on Earth that it could “send the civilization back to the dark ages”.

The huge hole on the surface of Sun which was spotted recently.  Image courtesy: NASA/SDO
The huge hole on the surface of Sun which was spotted recently.
Image courtesy: NASA/SDO

The Solar probe will carry instruments that would enable research on magnetic field of the Sun, plasma and high energy particles. The probe will also carry imaging apparatus to capture solar features.

An eleven centimeter thick carbon composite shield would house the equipment at room temperature when outside temperatures will swell over whopping 1,300 degree clesius.

Solar probe has been a dream for scientists for over six decades now.

This article was sourced from here

Also read:

Indian billionaire in US prepares for a Lunar touchdown in 2017