NASA to Launch Robotic Spacecraft to the Sun in 2018

NASA is set to launch a spacecraft to the sun in 2018.

The Solar Probe Plus is intended to fly within 4million miles (6 million km) of the massive star.

To put that into perspective, Earth is around 93 million miles (149 million kilometers) from the sun.

The main objective is to gather data that will help scientists to forecast major space weather events that can affect Earth.

Without advance warning, a major solar storm could knock out communications on Earth and cause millions of pounds worth of damage.

If successful, this will be the closest a manmade object has ever been to the sun, more than seven times as close as any spacecraft has been before.

“This is going to be our first mission to fly to the sun,” Eric Christian, a NASA research scientist at Goddard Space Flight Center, told Live Science.

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SOURCE: The Mirror, Libby Plummer