NASA’s Parker Solar Probe honor breakthrough 91-year-old scientist
NASA’s historic Parker Solar Probe, the space agency’s first spacecraft to the name of a living person.
CAPE CANAVERAL – NASA Parker Solar Probe, which is scheduled to launch early Saturday is expected to rack up a number of historic firsts for the space agency.
In addition to the mankind closer to the Sun than ever before, the unmanned spacecraft will also be a new speed record for a human-made object when it comes to 430,000 km / h in 2024. In particular, the Parker Solar Probe is also the first NASA spacecraft to the name of a living person.
The probe is named after pioneering solar physicist Dr. Eugene Parker, who for the first time, a theory of the existence of the solar wind. The 91-year-old scientist will attend to the launch, when the spacecraft takes off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
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The probe will blast off atop a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket from Space Launch Complex 37. The 65-minute launch window for the mission opens at 3:33 pm EDT on Saturday.
United Launch Alliance CEO Tory Bruno told Fox News that Dr. Parker’s presence at the launch makes the epic mission even more special.
“We feel the weight of the responsibility of this mission – this is Dr. Parker’s life’s work and it has resulted in this mission,” he said. “This rocket, in the span of just a few minutes, less than an hour, sending the spacecraft on its mission to the Sun literally fly through the corona – an absolutely amazing technological achievement.”
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“If we don’t do of this success, there is really no other possibility anytime soon,” he added.
The probe, which was designed and built by the Applied Physics Laboratory of the Johns Hopkins University, is also the implementation of more than 1.1 million names to the Sun. In March, members of the public were invited to be a part in the historic mission by submitting their names to be placed on a memory card that the spacecraft in space. In May, NASA confirmed that, more than seven weeks, a total of 1,137,202 names were submitted.
The memory card also contains pictures of Dr. Parker and his ground-breaking 1958 scientific article about solar wind.
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