NASA’s Parker Solar Probe will be humanity’s first-ever mission to explore the Sun’s outer atmosphere. Media are invited to see the spacecraft and learn about the mission from noon to 2 p.m. EDT Monday, Sept. 25, at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland, where the probe is being built.
The spacecraft will be in full flight configuration, complete with its revolutionary heat shield, and members of the engineering and science teams conducting this historical mission will be available for interviews.
The spacecraft, about the size of a small car, will launch in mid-summer 2018. It will travel directly through the Sun's atmosphere about four million miles from our star's surface – facing heat and radiation unlike any spacecraft in history – and make critical observations to answer decades-old questions about how stars work. Mission data ultimately will improve forecasts of major space weather events that affect life on Earth, as well as satellites and astronauts in space.