NASA's Parker Solar Probe launched on a mission to touch the sun on Aug. 12, 2018, riding atop a ULA Delta IV Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. See photos from the dazzling nighttime launch here!
Streaking to the Sun
The Delta IV Heavy rocket carrying NASA's Parker Solar Probe streaks into space in this long-exposure view of the launch from the United Launch Allianace.
On Sunday (Aug. 12) at 3:31 a.m. EDT (0731 GMT), the Parker Solar Probe launched on its mission to the sun.
Eugene Parker Watches Parker Solar Probe Launch
Solar scientist Eugene Parker watches as NASA's Parker Solar Probe, named for him, launches into space from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida on Aug. 12, 2018. The spacecraft will fly through the sun's outer atmosphere, the super-hot corona.
A Dazzling Launch
The engine plumes from the Delta IV Rocket launching the Parker Solar Probe created a dazzling sight to spectators, as seen in this NASA photo.
This long-exposure view of NASA's Parker Solar Probe launch shows the spacecraft and its Delta IV Heavy rocket streaking through a think cloud layer during the ascent into space.
The spectacular launch of the Parker Solar Probe is reflected in water around its Cape Canaveral Air Force Station launch site in this stunning view by NASA photographer Bill Ingalls.
A Tower View
This view from NASA photographer Bill Ingalls shows the Parker Solar Probe's launch as viewed from a camera on the Mobile Service Tower that housed the mission's Delta IV Heavy rocket before flight.
Launching to the Sun
NASA's Parker Solar Probe rode a Delta IV Heavy rocket, one of the most powerful rockets in use today, to begin its mission to the sun.
The Parker Solar Probe will eventually be the fastest spacecraft in history. In 2024, after a series of flybys around Venus and 24 orbits of the sun, it will be moving at a whopping 430,000 mph (692,000 km/h).
Powering Up for the Sun
A view of the three first-stage boosters of the ULA Delta IV Heavy rocket that launched NASA's Parker Solar Probe.