NASA’s Parker Solar Probe lifts off atop a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket from Space Launch Complex 37 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Sunday, Aug. 12. The agency’s Parker Solar Probe is a historic mission that will revolutionize our understanding of the Sun. Protected by a first-of-its-kind heat shield and other innovative technologies, this mission will provide unprecedented information about our Sun, where changing conditions can spread out into the solar system to affect Earth and other worlds. The spacecraft will fly directly into the Sun's atmosphere where, from a distance of – at the closest approach -- approximately 4 million miles from its surface, the spacecraft will trace how energy and heat move through the Sun’s atmosphere and explore what accelerates the solar wind and solar energetic particles.
Roughly the size of a small car, NASA's Parker Solar Probe lifted off at 3:31 a.m. EDT on a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket from Space Launch Complex-37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. At 5:33 a.m., the mission operations manager reported that the spacecraft was healthy and operating normally.
At Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex 37, the Delta IV Heavy rocket with NASA's Parker Solar Probe, lifts off at 3:31 a.m. EDT on Sunday, Aug. 12, 2018. The spacecraft was built by Applied Physics Laboratory of Johns Hopkins University in Laurel, Maryland. The mission will perform the closest-ever observations of a star when it travels through the Sun's atmosphere, called the corona. The probe will rely on measurements and imaging to revolutionize our understanding of the corona and the Sun-Earth connection.