Launch Photos! NASA's Parker Solar Probe Blasts Off to Touch the Sun

Parker Meets Parker

NASA/Bill Ingalls

NASA Science Mission Directorate Associate Administrator Thomas Zurbuchen, solar astrophysicist Eugene Parker and United Launch Alliance President Tory Bruno in front of the rocket that will carry the Parker Solar Probe into space.

Ready to Fly


The Parker Solar Probe is packed in its Delta IV Heavy rocket ahead of its mission to the sun.

Leaving Earth for the Sun

NASA/Bill Ingalls

The Parker Solar Probe began a 7-year mission with its successful launch on Aug. 12, 2018. It will reach the sun in November 2018 following several flybys of Venus, the first of which is on Oct. 2.

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Meghan Bartels
Senior Writer

Meghan is a senior writer at and has more than five years' experience as a science journalist based in New York City. She joined in July 2018, with previous writing published in outlets including Newsweek and Audubon. Meghan earned an MA in science journalism from New York University and a BA in classics from Georgetown University, and in her free time she enjoys reading and visiting museums. Follow her on Twitter at @meghanbartels.