NASA announced that it would be releasing an official, “big statement” about its upcoming Solar Probe Plus mission this Wednesday, May 31. The aerospace agency presented it as its first ever mission that will “touch the Sun”.
According to its statement, NASA will release its “big announcement” during an event at the University of Chicago William Eckhardt Research Center Auditorium. The release will begin at 11 a.m. EDT.
The Solar Probe Plus Will Be a Daring Mission towards the Sun
NASA is planning on launching its Solar Probe Plus in the summer of 2018 if all goes according to schedule. This spacecraft should get closer to the Sun than any other human-made probe. It will be placed in orbit some four million miles of the massive star’s surface. This means that it will also have to face radiation and heat unlike any other spacecraft ever deployed.
The Solar Probe Plus will be used to explore the outer atmosphere of the sun. From there, it should be able to capture and record incredible data. These could help answer some decades-worth of questions about the star at the center of our galaxy. They should also assist in determining the sun’s physics and offer information as to how it functions.
Scientists hope that the resulting data will help improve our current technology. For example, such information could improve the prediction of major weather events about to take place in space. These could have an effect on both spacecraft and astronauts and Earth-bound life as well.
More information on the Solar Probe Plus can be found on the mission’s webpage. It also remains to be seen what NASA will reveal about its first spacecraft scheduled to “touch the Sun”.
For the moment, the aerospace agency only presented the list of participants to this event, which will include Nicola Fox, the mission’s project scientist and Eugene Parker, among others.
NASA TV will be broadcasting this event and the upcoming announcement on Wednesday, 3 p.m. GMT, 11 a.m. EDT.
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