MAY 30, 2017 06:25 AM PDT

NASA is Planning a Mission to "Touch" the Sun

NASA is planning to announce an unprecedented mission some this week in which the space agency will validate its interest in sending a space probe closer to the Sun than any other space probe has ventured in the past.

An artist's impression of the Solar Probe Plus satellite as it leaves the Earth.

Image Credit: JHU/APL/NASA

The mission, which is being dubbed Solar Probe Plus, will involve flying a satellite within 4 million miles of the Sun’s surface to collect data. This mission will launch sometime in the Summer of 2018 and should enable NASA to learn more about both the Sun's chemical and physical properties.

Flying this closely to the Sun, the probe will venture into the Sun’s outer atmosphere and be subjected to more intense heat temperatures and solar radiation than any other man-made satellite in history, but it will be for a very good cause – science.

Related: NASA spots a large coronal hole in the Sun's surface

For comparison, Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun in our Solar System and orbits the Sun approximately 35.98 million miles away on average. This is close enough that Mercury exhibits surface temperatures as high as 801º Fahrenheit; a temperature hot enough to melt lead.

Solar Probe Plus will be responsible for helping NASA to learn about the inner workings of stars, their physics, and more.

With this data, NASA hopes to provide more accurate solar storm and Sun activity forecasts, enabling us to have a better idea of how these events impact satellites in space as well as life on Earth and on the International Space station.

Related: Experts expect 'Maunder Minimum'-like solar hehavior in the next few decades

NASA’s announcement is planned for Wednesday, May 31st at 11 A.M. EDT and will be live-streamed from the University of Chicago’s William Eckhardt Research Center Auditorium. To tune into what NASA has to say, you can visit their website tomorrow at the aforementioned time.

Among the most interesting parts of this project will be learning how NASA will withstand the substantial amount of heat and what kinds of data will be pulled from the Sun when we finally get close enough to it.

Source: NASA

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
JUN 18, 2018
Space & Astronomy
JUN 18, 2018
Proposed CAESAR Mission Could Teach Us More About Comet 67P
Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko is one of the most captivating space rocks in the entire solar system, but we still don’t know very much about...
JUL 10, 2018
Space & Astronomy
JUL 10, 2018
Israel Will Soon Put An Unmanned Spacecraft on the Lunar Surface
The Moon is familiar territory to NASA and to a handful of other space agencies from around the globe, but not so much to the private sector. On the other...
AUG 13, 2018
Space & Astronomy
AUG 13, 2018
Giant Star Sets Record for Lithium Composition, Researchers Say
While scanning far and wide with the Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope (LAMOST), astronomers from the National Astronomical Observa...
AUG 21, 2018
Space & Astronomy
AUG 21, 2018
Yes, There's Water Ice on the Moon
Researchers have continuously speculated that the Moon might harbor traces of water ice, but new observations conducted with NASA’s Moon Mineralogy M...
AUG 22, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
AUG 22, 2018
The Universe is Expanding, But How Fast?
Since the Big Bang, our universe has never ceased expanding. The rate of cosmic expansion, now known as the Hubble Constant, was first defined by Belgian a...
SEP 13, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
SEP 13, 2018
Faster-Than-Light Jets Seen from Neutron Star Merger
Is there anything in the universe that can travel faster than light? A recent report in the journal Nature declared that the movement of a jet of expl...
Loading Comments...