Wednesday, July 25, 2018

NASA's Parker Solar Probe: ULA Delta IV Heavy Rocket Mission

Parker Solar Probe Launch Targeted for Aug. 11
Go Delta! Go Parker Solar Probe!
With three common booster cores, the Heavy is the largest in the Delta IV fleet and is a proven U.S. heavy lifter, delivering high-priority missions for the U.S. Air Force, National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) and NASA. The Delta IV Heavy also launched NASA’s Orion spacecraft on its historic Exploration Flight Test (EFT-1) in 2014.

July 24, 2018: NASA and its mission partners are targeting Aug. 11 for the launch of the Parker Solar Probe mission to the Sun. The 45-minute launch window will open at 3:48 a.m. EDT. During final inspections following the encapsulation of the spacecraft, a small strip of foam was found inside the fairing and additional time is needed for inspection.

The spacecraft will launch on a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket from Space Launch Complex 37 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The spacecraft aims to unravel 60 years' worth of mysteries surrounding the Sun’s corona. NASA's Parker Solar Probe and its United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy launch vehicle prepare for an unprecedented mission to "kiss the Sun."

Launching from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, Parker Solar Probe will swoop to within 4 million miles of the sun's surface, facing heat and radiation like no spacecraft before it. It will provide new data on solar activity and make critical contributions to our ability to forecast major space-weather events that impact life on Earth.

Learn about the historic Parker Solar Probe mission:

• Rocket: Delta IV Heavy
• Mission: Parker Solar Probe
• Launch Date: Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018
• Launch Broadcast: Details to come
• Launch Location: Space Launch Complex-37, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida

Mission Information:
Parker Solar Probe is humanity’s first mission to the sun. After launch, it will orbit directly through the solar atmosphere–the corona–closer to the surface than any human-made object has ever gone. While facing brutal heat and radiation, the mission will reveal fundamental science behind what drives the solar wind, the constant outpouring of material from the sun that shapes planetary atmospheres and affects space weather near Earth.

Parker Solar Probe is part of NASA’s Living With a Star Program to explore aspects of the connected sun-Earth system that directly affect life and society.

Launch Notes: Due to the extremely high energy required for this mission, the Delta IV Heavy’s capability will be augmented by a powerful third stage provided by Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems.

Credit: United Launch Alliance (ULA)/NASA
Release Date: July 24, 2018

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