(PRE-SALE. ARRIVES EARLY SEPTEMBER. LIMITED IN NUMBER)
NASA’s Parker Solar Probe will be the first-ever mission to "touch" the Sun. The spacecraft, about the size of a small car, will travel directly into the Sun's atmosphere about 4 million miles from the surface. Parker Solar Probe launched aboard a Delta IV-Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral, Aug. 12, 2018 at 3:31 AM EST.
NASA’s Parker Solar Probe successfully completed its first trajectory correction maneuver (known as TCM-1), achieving a near-perfect firing of its propulsion system and putting the spacecraft on course to “touch” the Sun. This maneuver sets up the orbital geometry that will allow Parker Solar Probe to come within about 3.83 million miles (8.86 solar radii) of the Sun’s surface on its closest approach in 2024.
Following launch on Aug. 12, the spacecraft control team at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, or APL, in Laurel, Maryland, analyzed Parker Solar Probe’s position and quickly developed a re-optimized trajectory to place it in the best path for the seven Venus gravity assist maneuvers and 24 solar orbits that the mission will make. Re-assessing a spacecraft’s trajectory after launch is a normal step, as the mission team is then able to accurately track the spacecraft’s actual speed, direction and position to create a more precise trajectory plan.