This Saturday, at early morning, NASA is going to take a revolutionary step by launching a spacecraft, which is named after a 91-year-old astrophysicist Eugene Parker, to study the mighty sun. If all goes well, Parker will watch the spacecraft named after him take off, which is an achievement in itself as this is the first time NASA has named a spacecraft after a person who is still taking his breaths. The man, who lives in Chicago, also said that it would be very interesting to watch as it will be his first rocket launch, in a humorous way.
The parker solar probe is going for an unprecedented solar mission where it is supposed to get really close to the plasma-ball. It is going even closer than any other spacecraft that has ever gone to study the sun. The colleagues of Eugene Parker called this nomenclature appropriate as they know that Eugene is respected highly among the people who are enthusiastic about our host star, for multiple reasons.
Angelo Olinto, an astrophysicist at the University of Chicago, where Eugene Parker worked for as long as a decade, said that he is indeed a celebrity in the field. He further added that the man has made some big breakthroughs at multiple times, when it comes to studying the sun and other things as well. One such incident is Parker’s prediction that came out in 1958, where he said that the yellow star is discharging a stream of some charged particles, and they are travelling at supersonic speeds. This was named as the solar wind, which is the term still used for the same, by the man himself.
The spacecraft will come within 4 million miles of the yellow stars after an extensive travel of as many as 7 odd years, moving at a speed of 4,30,000 miles per hour, thus making it the fastest object ever made.