Behind The Scenes Of A Mission To Touch The Sun: NASA's Parker Solar Probe Launch

 Delta IV HEavy At Cape Canaveral

Delta IV HEavy At Cape Canaveral

In early 2017, Founder Institute announced a new initiative, the STAR Fellowship. To inspire and empower entrepreneurs to build 500 new space-related businesses by 2025. We wanted to help cultivate "astropreneurship". We did this in partnership with some of the world’s foremost leaders in space, entrepreneurship, and innovation to simplify the complex process of launching a space startup.

 Commander Michael López-Alegría - NASA Astronaut

Commander Michael López-Alegría - NASA Astronaut

During this time I became fortunate to meet with some of the amazing space industry experts, such as the New York Space Alliance. I even got to met my first Astronaut during the release of Sparks & Honey's report "Space: Exploration Innovation Brought Down To Earth". It was a pleasure to met former NASA Astronaut Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria, who holds the all time American record for number of Spacewalks (10) and total Spacewalk duration (67 hours and 40 minutes). 

So earlier this year when I heard NASA was scouting for social media influencers, I decided to apply for social media credentials. And then a few months later, to my surprise, I was selected by NASA to come down to Cape Canaveral for the launch of the Parker Solar Probe! 

Parker Solar Probe.jpeg

The Parker Solar Probe is NASA's first ever mission to touch the sun. The Parker Solar Probe will use seven gravity assist Venus flybys over the next seven years to slowly shrink its orbit around the sun. This will bring the Parker Solar Probe as close as 3.83 million miles to the sun. On it's closest orbit, the probe will be seven times closer than any spacecraft before it and it's eventual speed will make it the fastest human-made object in existence, at 430,000 mph relative to the sun.

As NASA states; "The spacecraft will go close enough to the sun to watch the solar wind speed up from subsonic to supersonic, and it will fly through the birthplace of the highest-energy solar particles. Still, as with any great mission of discovery, Parker Solar Probe is likely to generate more questions than it answers."

At 3:48 a.m. EDT on Saturday, August 11, the Parker Solar Probe will launch to begin its journey to the sun atop the second most powerful rocket in operation: the Delta IV Heavy. Selected in 2015 for the mission, it was the biggest rocket on the planet before being eclipsed by Space X Falcon Heavy in February of this year. To learn more about the mission, the Parker Solar Probe, and NASA's launch this Saturday be sure to watch the video below detailing the Park Solar Probes journey to touch the sun. 

I will be sharing my experience behind the scenes at Cape Canaveral on social media for everyone to follow along. I will be tweeting, Instagramming, live streaming on Twitch, and more. The links are below. So be sure to follow my social media posts over the next few days to watch behind the scenes of one of NASA’s biggest launches in recent years!