NASA spacecraft will aim straight for sun next year

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A NASA spacecraft will aim straight for the sun next year.

The space agency announced the red-hot mission Wednesday at the University of Chicago.

Scheduled to launch in summer 2018, the Solar Probe Plus will fly within 4 million miles of the sun’s surface — right into the solar atmosphere. It will be subjected to brutal heat and radiation like no other man-made structure before.

The purpose is to study the sun’s outer atmosphere and better understand how stars like ours work.

The announcement came during a ceremony honoring astrophysicist Eugene Parker, professor emeritus at the University of Chicago.