This summer, NASA will make their first attempt to send a space probe to a star. On July 31st, the Parker Solar Probe will set off on its journey to the sun, but it wouldn’t take only measuring instruments and equipment with it. To mark this major event, scientists will also place about 1.1 million names on the probe, names that are going to touch the sun.
NASA urged people to send their name to the sun
NASA has been promoting its Parker Solar Probe for quite a long time now, as it wanted to mark this historical event and make it memorable. Therefore, the space agency issued a call for names that were supposed to get aboard the probe and travel to the sun with it. Anyone who wanted their name to get where nothing else has been could submit it to NASA until April 27th.
As the submissions were closed, NASA revealed 1,137,202 people sent their name to the sun. They had seven weeks and a half available to think this through, submit their name, and then wait for an official confirmation. Then, researchers put all the names on a memory stick and, on May 18th, installed it on the Parker Solar Probe.
The Parker Solar Probe will provide us with some unique observations of the sun
This whole mission is some sort of tribute to Eugene Parker, who was the first to develop a theory on the solar wind. Therefore, the Parker Solar Probe will bear a plaque containing both a quote from the scientist and a special dedication to him. Right next to these words, scientists installed the memory stick, that will also carry photos of Parker and his study from 1958.
The probe will set off on a mission that will last seven years. Throughout this period, the spacecraft will perform 24 orbits around the sun and get closer than anything has ever been to our star. This means it will come up with some unique observations and will bring some remarkable findings. However, the mission is still pretty extreme, as the Parker Solar Probe will need to face some scorching temperatures.
Image source: Wikipedia