Parker solar probe

Why in news?

NASA is inviting people around the world to submit their names online to be placed on a microchip aboard NASA’s historic Parker Solar Probe mission launching in summer 2018.

Parker Solar Probe is part of NASA’s Living with a Star Program, or LWS, to explore aspects of the Sun-Earth system that directly affect life and society.


Parker Solar Probe will swoop to within 4 million miles of the sun’s surface, facing heat and radiation like no spacecraft before it. Launching in 2018, Parker Solar Probe will provide new data on solar activity and make critical contributions to our ability to forecast major space-weather events that impact life on Earth.

The primary science goals for the mission are to trace the flow of energy and understand the heating of the solar corona and to explore what accelerates the solar wind. Parker Solar Probe provides a statistical survey of the outer corona.


Trace the flow of energy that heats and accelerates the solar corona and solar wind.

Determine the structure and dynamics of the plasma and magnetic fields at the sources of the solar wind.

Explore mechanisms that accelerate and transport energetic particles.


Understanding the Sun has always been a top priority for space scientists. Studying how the Sun affects space and the space environment of planets is the field known as heliophysics. The field is not only vital to understanding Earth’s most important and life-sustaining star, it supports exploration in the solar system and beyond.