Could Nasa's new Parker Solar Probe 'touch' the sun?

Last updated at 19:14
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WATCH: Nasa scientist Dr Nicky Fox tells us more about the mission

Nasa are hoping a new spacecraft will complete the first ever mission to touch the sun!

Well not literally 'touch' it, but rather to travel deep into the sun's atmosphere.

It's called the Parker Solar Probe, and it will be about the size of a small car.

Scientists have spent 60 years working on the project, which is expected to cost more than £1 billion to build and launch the spacecraft.

How will it work?

Getting close to the sun won't be easy!

As the sun is a star made up of hot plasma, it's obviously extremely hot - at the surface about 5,600C!

That's more than one hundred times the hottest temperature ever recorded on earth!

The sun's atmosphere is about 300 times hotter than that, so Nasa have been busy making a special shield to protect the spacecraft from the intense heat and energy.

The probe is designed to send information back to earth from around 89 million miles away.

Why is this mission so important?

The sun is the only star we can study up close, and by learning more about it we can find more about other stars throughout the universe.

Also, because the sun is a source of light and heat for life on Earth, the more we know about it, the more we can understand how life on Earth developed.

If everything goes to plan the spacecraft will be launched next summer about 4 million miles from the sun's surface.