A United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket carrying NASA's Parker Solar Probe spacecraft lifted off from Space Launch Complex-37 on August 12 at 3:31 a.m. Subsequently, this will help scientists to understand the principles of interaction of the corona of the Sun the photosphere and the upper layers of the star, and figure out how to form particles of the solar wind.
And the mystery is profound. The shield is capable of withstanding 1,370 degrees Celsius.
If all works as planned, the inside of the spacecraft should stay at just 85 degrees Fahrenheit. That's nearly 10 times closer than Mercury gets, and seven times closer than any previous probe.
United States space agency Nasa has launched its mission to send a satellite closer to the Sun than any before. It remains unknown how these electrically charged particles pick up speed.
NASA hope the breakthrough journey will reveal why the sun's outer layer - the corona - is hotter than the surface. That defies the laws of nature.
"Why in this region does the solar atmosphere suddenly get so energized that it escapes from the (gravitational) hold of the sun and bathes all of the planets?" It is only by getting this close to the sun that we have a chance of answering definitely what accelerates the wind.
It will also be the fastest-moving man-made object in space. Solar weather isn't something most of us are aware of - not like approaching thunderstorms or blizzards or tornadoes - but it impacts our technology, our satellites, the electric grid and our communications networks. "All the configurations are already over, we are now in the process of assembling the engineering model prototype and then the testing stage will begin", Banerjee, who is part of the Aditya L1 mission, said.
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NASA's Parker Solar Probe rocket lifted off from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
"We are going to be in an area that is so exciting, where solar wind - we believe - will be accelerating", said NASA planetary science division director Jim Green. "We're in for some learning over the next several years".
Originally slated to fly in the small hours of Saturday morning, the Parker Solar Probe blasted off Sunday from Florida's Kennedy Space Center at 03:31 am EDT / 00:31 PT / 8.31 UMT.
The rocket smoothly accelerated as it consumed propellant and lost weight, powering out of the thick lower atmosphere in spectacular fashion.
"Three, two, one, zero, and liftoff!"
A Nasa handout photo shows an artist's impression of the Parker Solar Probe (PSP) approaching the Sun. However, a 4.5 inch carbon composite shield will face the sun, keeping the instruments cool at around 30 degrees C. The probe is created to track solar wind and study electric and magnetic fields along with coronal plasma and energy particles. APL designed and built, and operates the spacecraft.
Six weeks after launch, the probe will encounter Venus' gravity for the first time.