The launch of the car-sized probe aboard a massive Delta IV-Heavy rocket lit the night sky at Cape Canaveral. NASA/Bill Ingalls/Handout via REUTERS
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NASA Sunday blasted off its first-ever spaceship to explore the sun, the $1.5 billion Parker Solar Probe, on a strategic mission to protect the Earth by unveiling the mysteries of dangerous solar storms. The launch of the car-sized probe aboard a massive Delta IV-Heavy rocket lit the night sky at Cape Canaveral, Florida.The unmanned spacecraft's mission is to get closer than any human-made object ever to the center of our solar system, plunging into the sun's atmosphere, known as the corona, during a seven-year mission.When it nears the sun, the probe will travel at some 692,000 kilometers per hour.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 as well as the sun's atmosphere, which is 300 times hotter than its surface.
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