By the end of this next sentence the astonishing satellite, which can top 430,000mph, would be over Greenland.
And by the end of the article the mind-blowingly quick probe would be a significant way to reaching the Moon.
The Parker Solar Probe is quite simply one of the most amazing machines ever built – by far the fastest thing on Earth and even 10 times faster than the average space-borne asteroid.
Burning curiosity: NASA's Parker Solar Probe to unravel mysteries of the Sun
Are we there yet? Parker Solar Probe will travel 90 million miles to touch the Sun
The satellite is tasked with a 90MILLION mile suicide mission taking it to within just three million miles of the Sun to discover, among other things, how and why the Sun threatens our planet.
It will be expected to operate for SEVEN years in temperatures hotter than a working blast furnace.
Indeed the searing 2500F (1377C) temperatures at the Perihelion (the closest point to the Sun’s surface) are hot enough to instantly turn steel to liquid.
Understandably NASA has faced many technological challenges.
The revolutionary heatshield protecting the Parker Probe is four and a half inch (12cm) thick carbon-composite and so effective that while the sun-facing side will blister in the fiery 2500F temperatures the electronics behind it will operate at room temperature.
Sun screen: Scientists work on the $1.5BN Parker Solar Probe
The probe, about the size of a Mini, is named after astrophysicist Eugene Parker whose work on the Sun alerted science to the dangers of the solar wind which causes the Northern Lights but can also play havoc with electronic systems – and in extreme circumstances change or even flip planetary magnetic systems.
The dangers to communication systems, the billions they could cost the planet if they are disrupted by solar winds, a key driver for the $1.5bn (£1.2bn) project.
A spokesman for NASA said: “We don't do this just for the basic science. One recent study by the National Academy of Sciences estimated that without advance warning a huge solar event could cause two trillion dollars in damage in the US alone, and the eastern seaboard of the US could be without power for a year.
“In order to unlock the mysteries of the corona, but also to protect a society that is increasingly dependent on technology from the threats of space weather, we will send the Parker Solar Probe to touch the sun.”
Quick mover: Parker Solar Probe will hit 430,000mph
Explaining the motivation and science behind the probe NASA provided a bullet-point list which included:
* The sun is the only star we can study up close. By studying this star we live with, we learn more about stars throughout the universe.
* The sun is a source of light and heat for life on Earth. The more we know about it, the more we can understand how life on Earth developed.
* The sun also affects Earth in less familiar ways. It is the source of the solar wind; a flow of ionized gases from the sun that streams past Earth at speeds of more than 500 km per second (a million miles per hour).
* Disturbances in the solar wind shake Earth's magnetic field and pump energy into the radiation belts, part of a set of changes in near-Earth space known as space weather.
* Space weather can change the orbits of satellites, shorten their lifetimes, or interfere with onboard electronics. The more we learn about what causes space weather – and how to predict it – the more we can protect the satellites we depend on.
* The solar wind also fills up much of the solar system, dominating the space environment far past Earth. As we send spacecraft and astronauts further and further from home, we must understand this space environment just as early seafarers needed to understand the ocean.
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