NASA announces mission to touch the sun

CHICAGO (WBTW) – Soon we may know how it feels to touch the sun.

On Wednesday, NASA announced its latest mission – to fly directly into the sun’s atmosphere – during an event at the University of Chicago. This is the first mission of its kind.

Nicola Fox, the mission project scientist from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland said “Its now time to go up and pay it a visit” during the announcement.

According to a press release, the Parker Solar Probe will launch in Summer 2018 and orbit within 400-million miles of the sun’s atmosphere. The spacecraft will “face heat and radiation unlike any other spacecraft in history”. The probe will explore the atmosphere and collect data to help NASA answer questions about how stars work, and improve major space weather forecasts that can impact life on Earth, and astronauts and spacecraft in space.

For more information or to watch the live countdown to the launch, visit https://www.nasa.gov/sun.