Technology

NASA plans first mission to sun

The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is planning its first visit to the sun and has invited people around the world to join the new Parker Solar Probe mission by submitting their names.

According to a NASA online statement released on Friday, a microchip that stores all the names collected before April 27 would be installed on the mission, “and your name will go along for the ride’’.

The mission would be launched this summer for a trip to the sun’s atmosphere about 6.4 million km from the surface to study how the star affects space and other planets.

A car-sized spacecraft would approach the sun at a fast speed that would reach approximately over 690,000 km per hour at the closest distance.

The spacecraft has a thick carbon-composite shield of 4.5 inches to withstand the sun’s heat which can reach nearly 1371 degrees Celsius.

Scientists expect the mission could help study the sun’s magnetic fields, plasma and energetic particles, and image the solar wind at room temperature.

“This incredible spacecraft is going to reveal so much about our star and how it works that we’ve not been able to understand,’’ project scientist Nicola Fox said in a NASA statement. (Xinhua)

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