NASA / JOHNS HOPKINS APL / STEVE GRIBBEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / JOHNS HOPKINS APL / STEVE GRIBBEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Parker Solar Probe leaving Earth. Illustration of NASA's Parker Solar Probe deploying its solar panel arrays in Earth orbit on its way to the Sun. Originally called Solar Probe, and then Solar Probe Plus, this mission was renamed in May 2017 after solar astrophysicist Eugene Parker. The mission is being carried out by NASA and Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. The mission was launched in August 2018. The unmanned probe will approach to within 6 million kilometres of the solar surface (photosphere) using a solar shield for protection.
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