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NASA may send robotic spacecraft to Sun next year

NASA may send robotic spacecraft to Sun next year

Third, the mission will attempt to find out why the sun occasionally emits high-energy solar energetic particles, that are a danger to astronauts and spacecraft. And yet the two fundamental questions, raised in the 1940s by the discovery of the corona's million-degree temperature and in the early 1960s by the proof of the supersonic solar wind's existence, remain unanswered: Why is the solar corona so much hotter than the photosphere?

Recently NASA had told about its plan to launch the Solar Plus Probe which will be much helpful for the scientist to check the solar events. However, unlike Icarus, who plunged to his death when the sun melted his wings, we need to be very careful in our endeavor.

Two of the transformative advances in our understanding of the Sun and its influence on the solar system were the discovery that the corona is several hundreds of times hotter than the visible solar surface (the photosphere) and the development-and observational confirmation-of the theory of the corona's supersonic expansion into interplanetary space as a "solar wind". The sun's volume would need 1.3 million Earths to fill it. Surface temperatures are about 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit (5,000 Celsius) - relatively cool compared to the mind boggling 3.5 million Fahrenheit (2 million Celsius) of the corona (atmosphere).

"This is going to be our first mission to fly to the sun", said Eric Christian, a NASA research scientist at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The space agency will be sending that spacecraft within four million miles of the sun in 2018, an incredibly close distance considering the fact that our Earth is 93 million miles away.




"We can't get to the very surface of the Sun", but the mission will get close enough to answer three important questions, Christian said. Why the atmosphere is hotter than the surface is a big puzzle.

Further NASA scientists are also looking for an answer to the question of how is solar wind gets its speed.

The mission also aims to check the mechanisms that transport and accelerate energy particles near the solar surface. As per the reports, they have designed a 1.4 centimetres carbon-composite shield that can survive at 1,370 degrees Celsius.

The unmanned probe will have special heat tubes called thermal radiators that will radiate heat that permeates the heat shield to open space thereby preventing the instruments from damage. The Solar Probe Plus will also be protected from radiation, which can damage the probe's electrical circuits, especially its memory. The spacecraft will travel six million kilometers to study the atmosphere of sun.

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