NASA Announces Plans for First-Ever Trip to Sun

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Solar Probe Plus, solar panels folded into the shadows of its protective shield, gathers data on its approach to the Sun.

JHU/APL

It’s a little too hot to send people, but NASA plans to send a spacecraft to the sun by 2018.

As part of their Solar Probe Plus mission, the spacecraft will orbit in the sun’s outer atmosphere, constantly sampling the environment and testing for radiation.The main goals are to discover why the sun’s atmosphere is hotter than its surface, and what causes “solar winds” that affect the rest of the solar system.

The spacecraft can only go about four million miles away from the sun, but it’s the closest NASA has ever gone. Even at that distance, it will have to withstand intense radiation and temperatures over 2550 degrees Fahrenheit .

This expedition will be the first trip to any star, let alone the sun. (via Mashable)

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