CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) – A NASA spacecraft will aim straight for the sun next year. The space agency announced the red-hot mission Wednesday at the University of Chicago. Scheduled to launch in summer 2018, the Solar Probe Plus will fly within 4 million miles of the sun’s surface – right into the solar atmosphere.
It will be subjected to brutal heat and radiation like no other man-made structure before. The purpose is to study the sun’s outer atmosphere and better understand how stars like ours work. The announcement came during a ceremony honoring astrophysicist Eugene Parker, professor emeritus at the University of Chicago.