In the early hours of Saturday, NASA mission controllers plan to launch one of the most powerful rockets in the world and send their newest spacecraft to the Sun.
From its launch pad at Cape Canaveral in Florida, the Parker Solar Probe will blast off on a course that revolves past Venus and loops around the sun before diving ever lower into the sun brutally hot atmosphere, the corona that lights like a nimbus in a total solar eclipse. The US space agency aims for lift-off at the 3.48am local time (8.48am BST).
This is an exceptional project with a unique objective. The spacecraft will require 55 times more launch energy than a journey to Mars. the Parker Solar Probe, itself is perched on a Delta IV Heavy rocket which stands 72m tall, 15m wide, and accommodates more than 600 tonnes of fuel.
The spacecraft has been marked as an object that travels faster than any human-made creation in history. The Nasa Probe will tear around the sun at 430, 000mph. At that speed, it would take seven seconds to reach Penzance from John o’Groats, congestion on the M5 notwithstanding.