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NASA Plans to Touch the Sun in 2018

NASA is planning to launch some important missions in 2018 which includes voyage to the Sun. NASA plans to  ‘touch’ the Sun as its Parker Solar Probe is ready for its journey in 2018. It will explore the outer surface and atmosphere of Sun.

In order to bring its orbit closer to the Sun, the probe will use the gravity of Venus during seven flybys over almost seven years. The Parker Solar Probe will be able to reach very close to the Sun’s atmosphere, almost 6.2 million kilometers to Sun’s surface. It will be the first time any spacecraft would have reached so close and it will definitely be well within the orbit of Mercury.

Now the aim of the spacecraft is to conduct some scientific investigations and observe how energy and heat move through the solar corona. It has to be done in the hottest and hazardous region. Parker Solar Probe has to investigate how solar wind and solar energetic particles are accelerated.

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Other than this NASA has other experiments planned as well in 2018. NASA is planning to add InSight Mars lander to its existing robotic fleet at the Red Planet. It will study the planet, it’s interior and subsurface. Moreover NASA’s first asteroid sample return mission, OSIRIS-Rex is also expected to reach near-Earth asteroid Bennu in August 2018. In June 2018 the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will launch and it will search for planets that are outside the solar system of Earth. It will monitor almost 200,000 bright, nearby stars. NASA is also planning to launch two missions, namely ICESat-2 and GRACE Follow-On to find out how the Earth’s ice sheets, sea level, and underground water reserves are changing with time.