Parker Solar Probe

Exploring the Sun closer than ever before

The Parker Solar Probe (PSP) is an exciting mission of exploration and discovery, the closest a spacecraft has approached the Sun itself. By flying into the Sun’s outer atmosphere—called the corona—the Parker Solar Probe will gather data on the processes that heat the corona and accelerate the solar wind—solving two fundamental mysteries that have been top-priority science goals for many decades. This mission will transform our understanding of the Sun and Sun-like stars, enabling further exploration through our own solar system. It is also taking never before seen views of Venus.

Mission Class:

Larger Missions

Mission Status:


LASP Roles:

Research, Instruments

Science Target:


Mission Focus:

Magnetosphere, Planetary Atmosphere, Planetary Magnetosphere, Solar Physics, Space Weather

Primary Mission Site:

Launch date: August 12, 2018
First Venus flyby: October 3, 2018
First perihelion pass on the Sun:
November 5, 2018
Prime mission:

Lead institute: Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory

Partners: University of California Berkeley, University of Minnesota, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Paris Observatory, Princeton University, University of Michigan, Naval Research Laboratory