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NASA's Parker Solar Probe lifts off successfully

IANS  |  Miami 

on Sunday successfully launched the Parker Solar Probe, the US space agency's to "touch the Sun," from the Air Force Station in

"3-2-1... and we have liftoff of Parker #SolarProbe atop @ULAlaunch's #DeltaIV Heavy rocket," the US-based space agency tweeted.

The launch was initially planned for Saturday morning.

The probe is named after Eugene Parker, a solar physicist, who in 1958 first predicted the existence of the solar wind, a stream of charged particles and magnetic fields that flow continuously from the sun.

Nestled atop a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy -- one of the world's most powerful rockets -- with a third stage added, will blasted off toward the sun with a whopping 55 times more than was required to reach Mars.

Weighing just 635 kgs, it is a relatively light spacecraft, Andy Driesman, at the in the US, said in an earlier statement.

Zooming through space in a highly elliptical orbit, the will reach speeds of up to 700,000 kms per hour, setting the record for the fastest in history.

During its nominal mission lifetime of just under seven years, the will complete 24 orbits of the Sun -- reaching within 3.8 million miles of the Sun's surface at the closest approach.

In an orbit this close to the Sun, the real challenge is to keep the from burning up.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, August 12 2018. 14:16 IST