Solar Probe+ to Plunge Directly into Sun’s Atmosphere
Sept. 2, 2010: NASA’s daring plan to visit the sun took a giant leap forward today with the selection of five key science investigations for the Solar Probe+ spacecraft.
Slated to launch no later than 2018, the smart car-sized spacecraft will plunge directly into the atmosphere of the sun, aiming to solve some of the biggest mysteries of solar physics. Today’s announcement means that researchers can begin building sensors for unprecedented in situ measurements of the solar system’s innermost frontier.
“Solar Probe+ is going where no spacecraft has gone before,” says Lika Guhathakurta, Solar Probe+ program scientist at NASA HQ. “For the first time, we’ll be able to ‘touch, taste and smell’ the sun.”