Tip Sheets

‘New era’ of Sun exploration nears as NASA’s Parker Solar Probe preps for launch

Media Contact

Jeff Tyson

NASA’s first mission to fly directly into our sun’s atmosphere, Parker Solar Probe, is scheduled to launch between Aug. 11 and 19.

Jonathan Lunine

Professor of the Physical Sciences

Jonathan Lunine is the director of the Center for Astrophysics and Planetary Science at Cornell University and has served on a number of advisory and strategic planning committees for NASA. He expects the probe will unveil incredible detail of the dynamic solar atmosphere.

Lunine says:

“I hope for a successful launch which will open up a new era in the exploration of our nearest star, the Sun.

“Parker Solar Probe will pass within four million miles of the Sun – that's almost eight times closer to the Sun than the orbit of Mercury – and provide incredible detail on the dynamic solar atmosphere.

“Parker Solar Probe will fly closer to the Sun than the distance at which even close-in exoplanets orbit their own Suns, giving us unprecedented information on the kinds of environments these planets experience.”

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