NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is ready for its launch early Saturday morning. NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is About to Lift Off | NASA

At [ 3:33 a.m. EDT  (0733 GMT) ] on Aug. 11, while most of the U.S. is asleep, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida will be abuzz with excitement. At that moment, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe, the agency’s historic mission to touch the Sun, will have its first opportunity to lift off.

Launching from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, Parker Solar Probe will make its journey all the way to the Sun’s atmosphere, or corona — closer to the Sun than any spacecraft in history.

The spacecraft will ride the massive United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket, which is powered by liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen. United Launch Alliance to Launch NASA’s Parker Solar Probe – ULA.

The liftoff of a Delta IV is always fun to watch. A sheet of flame will surround the vehicle just at liftoff caused by the burn off of hydrogen gas that’s emitted from the engines before they ignite.

Here is a new video about the mission:

Here’s the orbit that the probe will follow to bring it into the Sun’s atmosphere or corona:

Parker uses a highly elliptical orbit with Venus gravity assists to get closer to the Sun. Credits: NASA/JPL/WISPR Team

A video about the Sun’s corona, which is actually hotter than the surface of the Sun, a mystery the Parker probe will investigate: The Curious Case of the Sun’s Hot Corona | NASA

More videos about the Parker mission: GMS: Parker Solar Probe Science Briefing – Visual Resources

Some interesting items about the mission: Parker Solar Probe preview: 10 hot facts about NASA’s cool mission to the Sun | The Planetary Society

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