NASA’s Solar Probe Set To Launch Tonight From Cape Canaveral, Humanity’s First Mission to Sun

By  //  August 10, 2018


ABOVE VIDEO: NASA’s Parker Solar Probe will be the first-ever mission to “touch” the sun. The spacecraft, about the size of a small car, will travel directly into the sun’s atmosphere about 4 million miles from our star’s surface. The launch is slated Saturday, August 11. 

BREVARD COUNTY • CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA – United Launch Alliance Delta Heavy rocket, carrying NASA’s Parker Solar Probe, is scheduled to liftoff no earlier than August 11 from Cape Canaveral and will carry humanity’s first mission to the sun.

The launch was previously scheduled to launch on August 4 and August 6.

Additional time was needed to evaluate the configuration of a cable clamp on the payload fairing. Teams have modified the configuration and encapsulation operations have continued.

The Parker Solar Probe will look to break another record as it is expected to break the record for the fastest spacecraft to leave Earth’s atmosphere, a record set by the New Horizons mission during launch on an Atlas V in 2006.

Due to the extremely high energy required for the mission, the Delta IV Heavy’s capability will be augmented by a powerful third stage provided by Orbital ATK.

• Rocket: Delta IV Heavy
• Mission: Parker Solar Probe
• Launch Date: Saturday, August 11, 2018
• Launch Broadcast: Broadcast will begin at 2:45 a.m. ET
• Launch Location: Space Launch Complex-37, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida

Mission Information: Parker Solar Probe is humanity’s first mission to the sun. After launch, it will orbit directly through the solar atmosphere – the corona – closer to the surface than any human-made object has ever gone.

While facing brutal heat and radiation, the mission will reveal the fundamental science behind what drives the solar wind, the constant outpouring of material from the sun that shapes planetary atmospheres and affects space weather near Earth.

Parker Solar Probe is part of NASA’s Living With a Star Program to explore aspects of the connected sun-Earth system that directly affect life and society.

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Launch coverage can be seen on Space Coast Daily TV