What is Parker Solar Probe?

  • Released Friday, September 22nd, 2017
  • Updated Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023 at 1:47PM
  • ID: 12728

Parker Solar Probe will swoop to within four million miles of the Sun's surface, facing heat and radiation like no spacecraft before it. Launching in 2018, Parker Solar Probe will provide new data on solar activity and make critical contributions to our ability to forecast major space-weather events that impact life on Earth.

Parker Solar Probe is an extraordinary and historic mission exploring arguably the last and most important region of the solar system to be visited by a spacecraft to finally answer top-priority science goals for over five decades.

But 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 U.S. alone, and the eastern seaboard of the U.S. 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 Parker Solar Probe to touch the Sun.

Parker Solar Probe Trailer.
Credit: NASA/JHUAPL

Complete transcript available.

Learn how Parker Solar Probe was connected to the August 21, 2017 solar eclipse.
Credit: NASA/JHUAPL

Complete transcript available.

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The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory


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