Revised Launch Date Targeted for Parker Solar Probe

NASA and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory are now targeting launch of the agency’s Parker Solar Probe spacecraft no earlier than Aug. 4, 2018. Originally scheduled to launch on July 31, additional time is needed to accommodate further software testing of spacecraft systems. The Parker Solar Probe will launch on a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket from Space Launch Complex 37 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Parker Solar Probe will fly closer to the Sun’s surface than any spacecraft before it, facing brutal heat and radiation conditions and ultimately providing humanity with the first-ever samplings of a star’s corona.

Second Stage Attached to Delta IV Heavy Booster for Parker Solar Probe Mission

The second stage is mated to the common booster core of a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy.The second stage of a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy is mated to the common booster core inside the Horizontal Integration Facility near Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The Delta IV Heavy will launch NASA’s upcoming Parker Solar Probe mission in July 2018. The mission will perform the closest-ever observations of a star when it travels through the Sun’s atmosphere, called the corona. The probe will rely on measurements and imaging to revolutionize our understanding of the corona and the Sun-Earth connection.

Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett