The National Aeronautics and Space Administration ( NASA) for the very first time will launch a probe mission directly into the atmosphere of the sun in 2018.
Wearing a nearly five-inch thick coat of carbon-composite solar shields, the mission, Solar Probe Plus, will reach an orbit within four million miles (6.5 million km) of the sun and will measure activity at its outer surface, known as the ‘corona’.
The craft will collect vital information about the life of stars and their weather events and will help scientists improve predicting dangerous solar flares.
This would be a historic mission that will put the craft about closer to the sun than any spacecraft has ever reached before.
According to CNN, the mission’s objectives include “tracing the flow of energy that heats and accelerates the sun’s corona and solar wind, determining the structure and dynamics of the plasma and magnetic fields at the sources of the solar wind and explore mechanisms that accelerate and transport energetic particles.”