NASA Missions Parker Solar Probe and ESA Will Go Closer to Sun

NASA 2 Missions Will Go Closer to Sun Than Ever Before

There are two forthcoming missions (Parker Solar Probe and ESA) that will soon get closer to the Sun than ever before.

NASA’s 2 missions, Parker Solar Probe and ESA’s (the European Space Agency) Solar Orbiter “may resolve decades-old questions about the inner workings of the nearest star”.

These 2 missions will explore closer to the Sun than any previous mission. NASA hopes that they will resolve decades-old questions about the inner workings of the Sun.

 

 

“Our goal is to understand how the Sun works and how it affects the space environment to the point of predictability,” said Chris St. Cyr, Solar Orbiter project scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “This is really a curiosity-driven science.”

Parker Solar Probe mission plans to launch in the summer of 2018, and Solar Orbiter is scheduled to follow in 2020.

“Both missions will take a closer look at the Sun’s dynamic outer atmosphere, called the corona.  From Earth, the corona is visible only during total solar eclipses, when the Moon blocks the Sun’s most intense light and reveals the outer atmosphere’s wispy, pearly-white structure. But the corona isn’t as delicate as it looks during a total solar eclipse — much of the corona’s behavior is unpredictable and not well understood”, notices NASA.

Parker Solar Probe and Solar Orbiter employ different sorts of technology, but — as missions — they’ll be complementary,” said Eric Christian, a research scientist on the Parker Solar Probe mission at NASA Goddard. “They’ll be taking pictures of the Sun’s corona at the same time, and they’ll be seeing some of the same structures — what’s happening at the poles of the Sun and what those same structures look like at the equator.”

Parker Solar Probe will cross entirely new territory as it gets closer to the Sun than any spacecraft has come before.

 

Source: NASA