'Touch the sun' mission: NASA delays launch of Parker Solar Probe

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About this сообщаетAFP, reports the Chronicle.info with reference to the UNN.

The launch was pushed back because a technical glitch on the rocket carrying the probe, United Launch Alliance's Delta IV Heavy rocket, caused NASA to run out the clock on its 65-minute launch window Saturday.

The car-sized spacecraft is set to travel straight into the Sun's atmosphere - corona - and will stay more than seven times closer than any spacecraft has ever gone before it, mainly due to the fact that it carries a Thermal Protection System to the spacecraft from the heat.

"This is where we live", said NASA solar astrophysicist Alex Young.

He said: "Imagine the Sun and the Earth were a metre apart".

"It's of fundamental importance for us to be able to predict space weather much the way we predict weather on Earth", explained Alex Young, a solar scientist at NASA.

U.S. space agency NASA has scrubbed its launch of a new probe, but will make another attempt on Sunday.

The information will be valuable to study solar winds and space storms, it will be an asset to protect future deep space explorers as they journey toward the Moon or Mars. He's now 91 and eager to see the solar probe soar.

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To handle the heat it has been covered with a special 4.5 inch (11.3 cm) thick carbon-composite shield capable of withstanding temperatures up to 1,650C (3,002F).

It's created to take solar punishment like never before, thanks to its revolutionary heat shield that's capable of withstanding 1,370 degrees Celsius (2,500 degrees Fahrenheit).

Speeding by at a pace of 430,000 miles per hour will make it "the fastest human-made object", said project scientist Nicky Fox of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab.

"We are ready. We have the flawless payload".

The corona gives rise to the solar wind, a continuous flow of charged particles that permeates the solar system.

"Teams worked very hard this evening, diligently getting through the launch process, looking at everything that they had to to get into the terminal count this evening", Mic Woltman, of NASA's Launch Services Program, said during NASA's broadcast of the launch attempt. But four minutes before that, NASA announced a "no-go" as the probe team investigated an issue.

Scientists have wanted to build a spacecraft like this for more than 60 years, but only in recent years did the heat shield technology advance enough to be capable of protecting sensitive instruments, according to Fox.