TOPSHOT - This handout photo released by NASA shows the United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket with the Parker Solar Probe onboard shortly after the Mobile Service Tower was rolled back on August 11, 2018 / AFP / NASA / Bill INGALLS /
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NASA Sunday blasted off a $1.5 billion spacecraft toward the Sun on a historic mission to protect the Earth by unveiling the mysteries of dangerous solar storms.The probe is designed to plunge into the Sun's atmosphere, known as the corona, during a seven-year mission.In reality, it should come within 6.16 million kilometers of the Sun's surface, close enough to study the curious phenomenon of the solar wind and the Sun's atmosphere, known as the corona, which is 300 times hotter than its surface.If all works as planned, the inside of the spacecraft should stay at just 29 degrees Celsius.NASA chief of the science mission directorate, Thomas Zurbuchen, said Saturday that Parker is an "incredible hero of our scientific community," and called the probe one of NASA most "strategically important" missions.
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