The American National Aeronautics and Space Administration are sending a solar probe to the center of our system.
The agency that sent humans to the moon for the first time back in 1969 will hold a major press conference one details of the world’s first solar probe.
The Parker Solar Probe as it is called, will touch the corona, the outermost part of the sun’s atmosphere. There, temperatures are is hundreds of times hotter than on its surface.
This proximity to our closest star has never been attempted, with neither have human satellite technology been put under similarly extreme levels of temperatures and radiation.
The conference will livestreamed on NASA Television, as well as on the agency’s website, on Wednesday, 6 PM Doha time.
The probe is scheduled to be launched in the summer of 2018, and will reach its destination just 3.7 million miles from the sun’s surface. The closest human technology has ever gotten is 27 million miles shy of the star’s surface, set by Helios 2 in 1976.
The Parker Solar Probe will be collecting data on the corona, which for reasons unknown is significantly hotter than the sun’s surface. Temperatures can hit highs of half a million degrees Celsius and higher.
The spacecraft will be protected with 11.5 cm-thick carbon fiber shield to help it withstand temperatures close to 1,400 degrees Celsius.