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Watch: Countdown restarts as NASA's Parker Solar Probe ready for today's launch

12 Aug 2018 euronews

The new, 60-minute launch window opens at 3:31 am (1300 IST) for the Parker Solar Probe, a $1.5 billion unmanned spacecraft that aims to get closer than any human-made object in history to the centre of our solar system.Saturday's delay was caused by a helium gas sensor that exceeded a launch limit on the Delta IV-Heavy rocket, United Launch Alliance (ULA) said.The weather forecast was expected to be about 60 percent favourable for launch, according to ULA.Cryogenic fueling readiness poll is complete! Clocks are counting down once more and fueling operations are getting underway. Liftoff of ULA's #DeltaIV Heavy with the Parker #SolarProbe is planned for 3:31amEDT.— ULA (@ulalaunch) August 12, 2018The probe is intended to plunge into the Sun's mysterious atmosphere, known as the corona, coming within 6.16 million kilometres of its surface during a seven-year mission.The corona gives rise to the solar wind, a continuous flow of charged particles that permeates the solar system.Unpredictable solar winds cause disturbances in our planet's magnetic field and can play havoc with communications technology on Earth. Nasa hopes the findings will enable scientists to forecast changes in Earth's space environment. The probe is set to use seven Venus flybys over nearly seven years to gradually reduce its orbit around the Sun, using instruments designed to image the solar wind and study electric and magnetic fields, coronal plasma and energetic particles.It's #SunDay, and today we're sending a spacecraft to the Sun! ☀️ At 3:31 a.m. EDT / 12:31 a.m. PDT, we're launching #ParkerSolarProbe, which will go seven times closer to the Sun than any spacecraft before.Join us live at 3 a.m. EDT / 12 a.m. PDT:— NASA Sun & Space (@NASASun) August 12, 2018Nasa aims to collect data about the inner workings of the highly magnetised corona.It is protected by an ultra-powerful heat shield that can endure extraordinary levels of heat, and radiation 500 times that experienced on Earth.The car-sized probe is designed to give scientists a better understanding of solar wind and geomagnetic storms that risk wreaking chaos on Earth by knocking out the power grid.NASA's Parker Solar Probe launch window is from Sunday, August 12 at 03:33 - 04:38 a.m local time (9:33 - 10:48 CET). **Watch live here on Euronews**

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