NASA Sun Study
NASA to launch a probe to the surface of the sun to understand the possible effects of solar activity to humanityâ€™s existence.
16:33 28 February 2017
Nasa is sending Solar Probe Plus next year to the surface of the sun to help understand the dangers of solar activity and its possible effect on Earth. The mission will see a spacecraft seven times closer to the sun’s surface than any robot before it.
Eric Christian, a Nasa research scientist at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, said: 'This is going to be our first mission to fly to the sun,'
'We can't get to the very surface of the sun,' but the mission will get close enough to answer three important questions,
The spacecraft will be specially made using a 4.5 inch-thick carbon-composite shield so it can withstand temperatures of 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit.
Nasa’s project comes after the release of a study by the National Academy of Sciences that said without advance warning, a huge solar event could cause two trillion dollars in damage in the US alone.
'This mission will provide insight on a critical link in the Sun-Earth connection. Data will be key to understanding and, perhaps, forecasting space weather', said Nasa.
'Until we can explain what is going on up close to the sun, we will not be able to accurately predict space weather effects that can cause havoc at Earth.'