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NASA spacecraft will aim straight for sun next year

Scheduled to launch in summer 2018, the Solar Probe Plus will fly within 4 million miles of the sun’s surface — right into the solar atmosphere

world Updated: May 31, 2017 22:05 IST
Scheduled to launch in summer 2018, the Solar Probe Plus will fly within 4 million miles of the sun’s surface — right into the solar atmosphere.
Scheduled to launch in summer 2018, the Solar Probe Plus will fly within 4 million miles of the sun’s surface — right into the solar atmosphere.(Twitter Photo NASA)

A NASA spacecraft will aim straight for the sun next year.

The space agency announced the red-hot mission Wednesday at the University of Chicago.

Scheduled to launch in summer 2018, the Solar Probe Plus will fly within 4 million miles of the sun’s surface — right into the solar atmosphere. It will be subjected to brutal heat and radiation like no other man-made structure before.

The purpose is to study the sun’s outer atmosphere and better understand how stars like ours work.

The announcement came during a ceremony honoring astrophysicist Eugene Parker, professor emeritus at the University of Chicago.