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NASA probe will give us first up-close look at the Sun




An artist's rendering of the newly named Parker Solar Probe spacecraft approaching the sun.
An artist's rendering of the newly named Parker Solar Probe spacecraft approaching the sun.
/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
An artist's rendering of the newly named Parker Solar Probe spacecraft approaching the sun.
The probe is set to gradually move its orbit closer to the sun over the course of six years.
NASA


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Fourteen months and counting....

That's when NASA's Parker Solar Probe will do as Icarus did and fly really close to the sun. 

Formerly known as the Solar Probe Plus, the project was renamed after astrophysicist Eugene Parker in honor of his contributions in his field - the first time a spacecraft has been named for a living scientist. 

The probe will get closer to the red-hot star than ever before as it dives through the Sun's corona where the temperature is over a million degrees.

Unlike Icarus' wax wings, the Parker Solar Probe will have its instruments protected by a heat shield that should keep it at room temperature.

Take Two's A Martinez got the details on NASA's mission with Bruce Betts, Director of Science and Technology at The Planetary Society.

To hear the interview with Bruce Betts, click on the blue Media Player above.