ULA Delta IV Parker Solar Probe Heavy Scrub Statement

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The Parker Solar Probe, humanity's first mission to explore a star, will also be the closest for a man-made object to approach the Sun.

NASA's $1.5 billion Parker Solar Probe spacecraft, the size of a vehicle, aims to plunge into the Sun's sizzling atmosphere and become humanity's first mission to explore a star.

The Wide-Field Imager for Parker Solar Probe, or WISPR, will photograph the large scale structure of the corona before the spacecraft flies into it, studying coronal mass ejections, jets and other phenomena.

The probe is armed with a high-powered heat shield that is 11.43 centimeters (4.5 inches) thick.

The car-sized probe is created to give scientists a better understanding of solar wind and geomagnetic storms that risk wreaking chaos on Earth by knocking out the power grid.

The launch countdown was halted with just one-minute, 55 seconds remaining, keeping the Delta IV (four) rocket at Cape Canaveral, Florida, with the Parker Solar Probe.

The forecast shows a 60 percent chance of favorable weather conditions for launch - noted in NASA.

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By better understanding the basic science of solar wind - how the sun's atmospheric particles accelerate and interact - scientists hope to more accurately model larger, more complex solar phenomena, and improve space weather prediction models.

The Venus flybys will help shape Parker's trajectory, eventually putting the spacecraft into an elliptical orbit with a low point of just 3.8 million miles from the sun's visible surface and a high point around the orbit of Venus.

"But the day we go to Mars, we'll need to be able to predict solar eruptions of these particles, which can be deadly", he told AFP. "We know the questions we want to answer.". "Launch teams will attempt to launch on Sunday morning", NASA said in a tweet on Saturday.

The device will measure the electromagnetic field of the Sun and determine the nature of the particles emitted by the star. On the probe Parker spent about $ 1.5 billion.

The Parker probe's final three orbits - in 2024 and 2025 - will be the closest. When it nears the Sun, the probe will travel rapidly enough to go from NY to Tokyo in one minute - some 688,000kmh - making it the fastest human-made object.

Thousands of spectators gathered in the middle of the night to witness the launch, including the University of Chicago astrophysicist for whom the spacecraft is named.

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