NASA will make an announcement about the agency’s first mission to fly directly into our sun’s atmosphere during an event at 11 a.m. EDT Wednesday, May 31, from the University of Chicago’s William Eckhardt Research Center Auditorium. The event will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.
The mission, Solar Probe Plus, is scheduled to launch in the summer of 2018. Placed in orbit within four million miles of the sun’s surface, and facing heat and radiation unlike any spacecraft in history, the spacecraft will explore the sun’s outer atmosphere and make critical observations that will answer decades-old questions about the physics of how stars work. The resulting data will improve forecasts of major space weather events that impact life on Earth, as well as satellites and astronauts in space.
- Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington
- Nicola Fox, mission project scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland
- Eugene Parker, S. Chandrasekhar Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago
- Eric Isaacs, executive vice president for research, innovation and national laboratories at the University of Chicago
- Rocky Kolb, dean of the Division of the Physical Sciences at the University of Chicago