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LAUNCH OF PARKER SOLAR PROBE, August 6, 2018, Cape Canaveral FL

UPDATE, July 18:  NASA announced the launch date has slipped again, to August 6, because more time was needed to evaluate the configuration of a cable clamp on the payload fairing and to repair a leak in the purge ground support tubing on the 3rd stage rocket motor.  The new launch time was not announced.

UPDATE, June 16:  NASA announced the launch date has slipped to August 4 because more time is needed for software testing of spacecraft systems.  The launch time was not provided.  The launch window is open until August 19.

Original Entry: NASA will launch the Parker Solar Probe on a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral, FL no earlier than (NET) July 31 2018 at 4:15 am ET.   The launch window is open from July 31 to August 19.

The probe will travel closer to the Sun than any other spacecraft, flying directly through its corona.  For that reason, NASA bills the mission as “touching the Sun.”   To get into the proper orbit, the spacecraft will get seven “gravity assists” from Venus over 7 years by flying around that planet and using its gravity to change the spacecraft’s trajectory.   Studying the corona will provide data on the origin and evolution of the solar wind and thereby enable better forecasts of space weather, which can affect life and technology on Earth.

The mission is named about renowned space physicist Gene Parker.



August 6
3:00 am - 11:00 pm