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A Mission To Touch The Sun

Parker Solar Probe artist rendering. Photo: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Steve Gribben

A spacecraft is about to launch on a mission to the sun, coming closer than any other spacecraft has ever come before and zooming through the solar system with mind-boggling speed.

The Parker Solar Probe is being sent to our star to study its corona. Scientists hope they can uncover some of the mysteries of the corona and help better predict space weather. And because we probably won’t get to any other stars anytime soon, scientists say they’ll use the data from the mission to better understand the other stars in our universe.

Parker launches from Kennedy Space Center August 11 on a ULA Delta IV Heavy. Ahead of the launch, we spoke with Alex Young, Associate Director for Science, Heliophysics Division at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

Brendan Byrne is WMFE's Assistant News Director, managing the day-to-day operations of the WMFE newsroom, editing daily news stories, and managing WMFE's internship program.<br/><br/>Byrne also hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration.