NASA finally launched its Parker Solar Probe spacecraft on its mission to “touch the sun” today. The Delta IV rocket carrying the probe blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, this morning, after a series of delays. The launch had been due to take place yesterday but was dramatically aborted just seconds from lift-off after a last minute technical hitch. For the second straight day today, thousands of spectators jammed the launch site in the middle of the night as well as surrounding towns. Among them was 91-year-old astrophysicist Eugene Parker for whom the spacecraft is named, who proposed the existence of solar wind 60 years ago. "Fly baby girl, fly!!" project scientist Nicola Fox of Johns Hopkins University tweeted just before lift-off, urging it to "go touch the sun!" The Delta IV Heavy rocket thundered into the pre-dawn darkness, thrilling onlookers for miles around. Nasa needed the mighty 23-story rocket, plus a third stage, to get the tiny Parker probe … [Read more...] about Nasa launches Parker Solar Probe spacecraft in mission to ‘touch the sun’
Nasa launch sites
A NASA spacecraft rocketed towards the Sun on a historic mission to get closer to the star than any man-made object has ever done before. The Parker Solar Probe blasted off on the unprecedented flight on Sunday morning. For the second consecutive day, thousands of spectators packed the launch site at Cape Canaveral, Florida, in the middle of the night, including 91-year-old astrophysicist Eugene Parker, after whom the spacecraft is named. It came after Saturday morning's launch attempt was foiled by last-minute technical trouble. The Delta IV Heavy rocket thundered into night sky, thrilling onlookers for miles around. NASA needed the 23-story United Launch Alliance rocket to get the car-sized Parker probe racing towards the sun. It eventually will get within 3.8 million miles of the sun's surface, staying comfortably cool despite the extreme heat and radiation, and allowing scientists to explore the Sun in a way never before possible. Protected by a revolutionary new carbon heat shield … [Read more...] about NASA launches spacecraft on historic mission to the Sun
A NASA spacecraft rocketed toward the sun Sunday on an unprecedented quest to get closer to our star than anything ever sent before. The Parker Solar Probe will fly straight through the wispy edges of the corona, or outer solar atmosphere, that was visible during last August's total solar eclipse. It eventually will get within 3.8 million (6 million kilometers) of the sun's surface, staying comfortably cool despite the extreme heat and radiation, and allowing scientists to vicariously explore the sun in a way never before possible. No wonder scientists consider it the coolest, hottest mission under the sun, and what better day to launch to the sun than Sunday as NASA noted. "Fly baby girl, fly!!" project scientist Nicola Fox of Johns Hopkins University tweeted just before liftoff. She urged it to "go touch the sun!" Protected by a revolutionary new carbon heat shield and other high-tech wonders, the spacecraft will zip past Venus in October. That will set up the first solar encounter … [Read more...] about NASA launches probe to reveal sun’s mysteries
NASA have launched a mission to Mars, sending a spacecraft to explore the mysterious planet. But why have they decided to send the craft there and how long will the mission take? When did Nasa launch the Mars probe? Nasa launched the Mars InSight lander rocket on May 5 2018 from a base in California. It is its first in-depth investigation which will be focusing solely on the Red Planet. With only 40% of the missions sent to Mars being successful, Nasa has warned that the chances of success remain slim. The rocket, called the Atlas V-401 rocket, is powerful enough to travel the 301 million miles to Mars. How long will the space mission take? It will take more than six months for the lander to reach Mars and begin exploring the planet. During its journey time, Nasa will monitor its progress and respond to any issues. Once on Mars, the lander will spend two years taking samples and carrying out tests to find out how the planet is formed. But in Mars time, this will work out as only one … [Read more...] about When did Nasa launch its Mars probe, how long will the space mission take and what are they hoping to find on the Red Planet?
In a first for the West Coast, an Atlas 5 rocket boosted a robotic Mars lander into space Saturday, the first step in a 171-day voyage to the red planet for a two-year, $1 billion mission to monitor marsquakes, probe the temperature of the core and map the planet's hidden interior. With heavy fog blanketing Vandenberg Air Force Base northwest of Los Angeles, the United Launch Alliance Atlas 5's first stage engine thundered to life at 4:05 a.m. PT (GMT-7; 7:05 a.m. ET), throttled up to full thrust and quickly pushed the 20-story-tall booster away from pad 3-East atop 860,000 pounds of thrust. It was the first interplanetary launch from the West Coast, but fog blocked the view for spectators near the launch site as the rocket climbed away to the south over the Pacific Ocean. Long-range cameras, however, captured spectacular views as the rocket streaked away, trailing a brilliant plume of fiery exhaust. The Atlas 5 did its job despite the fog -- a visibility guideline was waived by … [Read more...] about NASA launches InSight lander toward Mars