NASA to announce first mission to touch sun

CHICAGO (WFLA) — NASA is set to make a big announcement on Wednesday about the first mission to fly into the sun’s atmosphere.

The launch window for the Solar Probe Plus mission is scheduled to open July 31, 2018. The spacecraft will orbit within four million miles of the sun’s surface. NASA says it will be subjected to heat and radiation unlike any other spacecraft in history.

The goal of the mission is to explore the sun’s outer atmosphere and make observations that will help answer questions about how stars work. The agency says the findings will help improve forecasts of space weather events that affect satellites, astronauts and life on Earth.

NASA is making the announcement from the University of Chicago at 11 a.m.

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