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NASA’s Parker Solar Probe: Cape Canaveral prepares for epic mission to the Sun

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NASA’s Parker Solar Probe: Cape Canaveral is set for the day of the launch

Tony Taliancich, launch director for ULA, describes the final preparations at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for NASA’s historic mission ‘touch the sun.’ The mission hopes to gain a wealth of data about our solar system and the stars.

CAPE CANAVERAL – NASA plans to make history Saturday, when the Parker Solar Probe blasts off on an epic mission towards the Sun. The employees at Cape Canaveral to make the final preparations for the launch, the spacecraft on an incredible journey through the Sun, the corona.

For the lifting of 2 million pounds of thrust, Parker will blast off aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket from Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. The 65-minute launch window for the mission opens at 3:33 pm EDT on Aug. 11, 2018.

Speaking on Fox News on the launch pad, Brian Taliancich, director and general manager of the launch of the activities on the ULA, said that “everything comes together perfectly,” for the launch.

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If Taliancich said, technicians traveled back and forth to the launch tower under a baking sun of Florida. A sign warned visitors to the launch site to beware of the crocodiles in the vast Air Force base.

A veteran of around 200 space launches, both during his time in the U.S. air force and the space industry, Taliancich said that all the launches are high-pressure events.

“You never lose the stress levels associated with the launch, there is a million little miracles’ of the making of these things leave the path,” he said.

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The probe, which is housed in a payload faring, was moved to Space Launch Complex 37 on 30 July. The following day, the spacecraft was lifted to the top of the Delta IV Heavy rocket. Sitting on the top of the rocket, the top of the ins is more than 230 metres above the ground.

Taliancich explained that just before sunset on Friday, technicians will be to the launch tower. “Then we will prepare all the ground-based systems, and get ready for cryogenic operations, the fueling of the rocket, which begins at 10 a.m.,” he said. “Then we get in fact fueling of the rocket, to prepare for the start you want to add, the super cold liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen is the fuel for the rocket.”

“We check all the systems, make sure that that range systems are ready to go and secure all the communication” Taliancich added. “Then we get into the final countdown.”

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There is a “hold point” 4 minutes before the start, when the technicians ensure that everything is done. “Is ‘T-Minus 4’ it is an automated count,” Taliancich explained. “There are no [specific missile launch] buttons.”

Parker’s ascent into the Florida sky will be just the first phase of a daring journey.

At its closest approach, Parker will be 3.8 million km from the surface of the Sun. This is seven times closer than the previous closest spacecraft, Helios 2, which came within 27 million miles of the Sun in 1976.

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The average distance between the Sun and the Earth is 93 million miles.

The probe is expected that the Sun in November. The use of Venus’ gravity, Parker will complete seven fly-bys for more than seven years gradually its orbit closer to the star. At its closest approach, the probe will travel in approximately 430,000 km / h.

Scientists expect that the $1.5 billion mission to shed light not only on our own dynamic Sun, but the billions of other yellow dwarf stars — and other types of star in the Milky way and beyond. While granting us life, the Sun also has the power to interfere with spacecraft in orbit, and communications and electronics on Earth.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

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