NASA to announce new details on mission to ‘touch the sun’

USA Today Network Mary Bowerman , USA TODAY Network 1:16 p.m. ET May 29, 2017

EPA SPACE NATURE SUN SOLAR FLARE ENV NATURE --- -

NASA is set to release new details this week about the agency’s “unprecedented” mission to “touch the sun.”

The mission, Solar Probe Plus, will launch in summer of 2018 and marks the agency’s first mission to fly into the sun’s atmosphere. Data collected during the mission is expected to improve forecasting of space weather events that impact life on Earth and the lives of astronauts, NASA said in a statement.

“Placed in orbit within four million miles of the sun’s surface, and facing heat and radiation unlike any spacecraft in history, the spacecraft will explore the sun’s outer atmosphere and make critical observations that will answer decades-old questions about the physics of how stars work,” NASA said in a statement.

NASA will make the announcement live on NASA Television and the agency’s website at 11 a.m. ET on Wednesday.

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