Send your name to the sun with Nasa's groundbreaking space probe

Adjust Comment Print

NASA is trying to change that ever so slightly with its Parker Solar Probe which is slated to launch this summer.

The mission will travel through the Sun's atmosphere, facing brutal heat and radiation conditions - and the names will go along for the ride, NASA said in a release.

Parker Solar Probe, named after retired astrophysicist Eugene Parker of the University of Chicago, will be launched between the window of July 13 and August 19 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The spacecraft and instruments will be protected from the sun's heat by a 4.5-inch-thick carbon-composite shield, which will need to withstand temperatures outside the spacecraft.

The last time a spacecraft came close to the star's surface was in 1976, when Helios 2 achieved perihelion - point of the orbit at which it was closest to the Sun - at 27 million miles.

Actor William Shatner, who portrayed Capt. James Kirk in the old "Star Trek" TV series, is NASA's pitchman for the send-your-name-to-the-sun campaign. During its closest approach, the unmanned satellite is expected to reach speeds of up to 30,000 miles per hour (690,000 km/h), shattering the current speed record held by the Juno probe, which accelerated to about 165,000 miles per hour (265,000 km/h), as it approached Jupiter in the summer of 2016. Then enter your name and email on the space' agency's special sign-up page.

The Parker Solar Probe will be subjected to the most intense journey of any manmade spacecraft to date. As soon as you confirm the details are accurate by clicking on an e-mail link from NASA, you will receive a certificate confirming your participation in this historic mission! The current mission timeline for the probe stretches to 2025, but could be given additional extended missions depending on how things pan out.

Understanding the sun is a top priority among space scientists.

Comments