NASA launched a solar probe before dawn on Sunday (August 12th) from Cape Canaveral in Florida, the space agency's first mission to explore the sun. The Parker Solar Probe will reach the outer atmosphere of the sun, called the corona, and will complete 24 orbits of it by 2025. It is protected by heat shields that can withstand temperatures up to 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit. Mission project scientist Nicola Fox told CNN, "We've been inside the orbit of Mercury and done amazing things, but until you go and touch the sun, you can't answer these questions. Why has it taken us 60 years? The materials didn't exist to allow us to do it."