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Red-hot Voyage to Sun Will Bring us Closer to our Star

Liftoff is set for the pre-dawn hours of Saturday

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Red-hot voyage
This image made available by NASA shows an artist's rendering of the Parker Solar Probe approaching the Sun. It's designed to take solar punishment like never before, thanks to its revolutionary heat shield that’s capable of withstanding 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit (1,370 degrees Celsius). (VOA)
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A red-hot voyage to the sun is going to bring us closer to our star than ever before.

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe will get nearly seven times closer to the sun than previous spacecraft. It will hurtle through the sizzling solar atmosphere and come within nearly 4 million miles of the surface.

Also Read: SpaceX Launches Communications Satellite

It’s designed to take solar punishment like never before, thanks to its revolutionary heat shield that’s capable of withstanding 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit. To snuggle up to the sun, it will fly past Venus seven times over seven years.

Liftoff is set for the pre-dawn hours of Saturday. (VOA)

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Parker Solar Probe Passes by Venus On Its Way to Sun: NASA

Twenty-four orbits — dipping into the sun's upper atmosphere, or corona — are planned over the next seven years.

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Parker Solar Probe, NASA
This illustration from NASA shows the Parker Solar Probe spacecraft approaching the sun. VOA

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is swinging by Venus on its unprecedented journey to the sun.

Launched in August, the spacecraft gets a gravity assist Wednesday as it passes within 1,500 miles (2,400 kilometers) of Venus. The flyby is the first of seven that will draw Parker ever closer to the sun.

By the end of October, Parker will shatter the current record for close solar encounters, set by a NASA spacecraft in 1976 from 27 million miles (43 million kilometers) out.

Parker-Solar-2, NASA
The Parker Solar Probe sits in a clean room at Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Fla., after the installation of its heat shield. VOA

Parker will get within 15 million miles (25 million kilometers) of the sun’s surface in November.

Also Read: SpaceX Names Yusaku Maezawa As Their Private Passenger

Twenty-four such orbits — dipping into the sun’s upper atmosphere, or corona — are planned over the next seven years. The gap will eventually shrink to 3.8 million miles (6 million kilometers). (VOA)

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