The surface of the Sun is 10,000 Fahrenheit, but its outer atmosphere—the corona—soars to some 3.5 million Fahrenheit. Its blistering heat is why no spacecraft has been able to go anywhere it.
But in the middle of next year, NASA will send a piece of hardware to reconnaissance it from close quarters. The Parker Solar Probe will get within four million miles it, with the gravitational assist of seven Venus flybys and make 24 orbits of our parent star.
The mission is made possible by a shield constructed from a carbon-carbon composite, which will keep the probe’s instruments safe in the range of 70 Fahrenheit.
h/t: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC