Tasting the solar wind.

Nature reports on the Parker Solar Probe, a ship with a mission to closer than we’ve ever been to the Sun, even dipping into the solar atmosphere:

The spacecraft lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on 12 August, on a trajectory that will take it past Venus in October, for a gravitational nudge to its orbit, and then past the Sun in November.

Over the next seven years it will fly close to the Sun 24 times, eventually getting within 6.2 million kilometres of its surface. That will put the Parker Solar Probe in the solar corona, where it will directly sample the magnetic, and other, energies that generate the stream of charged particles known as the solar wind, which drives space weather. It will be, by far, the closest any spacecraft has ever gotten to the Sun.