The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) plans to launch the mundanely-named "Solar Probe+" (pronounced "Solar Probe Plus") in 2015 on a seven-year mission to explore the Sun.
The solar-powered probe will come within 7 million km (4.35 million miles) of the Sun, and is being designed to withstand temperatures exceeding 1400 degrees Celsius (2550 degrees Fahrenheit). That's hot.
Scientists hope to answer two solar mysteries: Why the temperature in the Sun's outer atmosphere, the corona, is millions of times hotter than the surface of the Sun, and why the velocity of the Sun's "wind" increases the further it gets out into the solar system.
According to NASA, "Solar Probe+'s repeated plunges into the corona will be accomplished by means of Venus flybys. The spacecraft will swing by Venus seven times in six years to bend the probe's trajectory deeper and deeper into the sun's atmosphere."
Isn't that the technique both Captain Kirk and Superman used to travel back in time?
Space Exploration | Solar Probe Plus | Time Travel | Solar Wind | NASA | Burning Taper | BurningTaper.com