Send your name to the Sun aboard the Parker Solar Probe

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The US space agency is inviting members of the public to include their names on a microchip aboard its Parker Solar Probe launching in July.

The mission will travel through the Sun's atmosphere, facing brutal heat and radiation conditions - and the names will go along for the ride, NASA said in a release.

Once launched this summer from Cape Canaveral, Florida, the probe will eventually come within 4 million miles of our star, closer than any other spacecraft.

A car-sized spacecraft would approach the sun at a fast speed that would reach approximately over 690,000 km per hour at the closest distance. It will orbit the star at a distance of just under 4 million miles, and it will have to endure temperatures of nearly 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit. To keep them functioning unaffected by the blazing heat from the sun, a 4.5-inch-thick carbon-composite shield has been installed around them.

Parker Solar Probe mission
Parker Solar Probe mission

Originally called Solar Probe Plus, the robotic spacecraft was renamed in May 2017 in honor of pioneering astrophysicist Eugene Parker, who predicted the solar wind's existence in 1958. Despite that intense heat, the instruments housed within the probe will remain at roughly "room temperature" according to NASA.

The probe bears the name of William Shatner whose character in the "Star Trek" franchise discovers solar systems across the Universe. The current mission timeline for the probe stretches to 2025, but could be given additional extended missions depending on how things pan out.

Simply enter your name and email on NASA's sign-up page and submit your request. As soon as you confirm the details are accurate by clicking on an e-mail link from NASA, you will receive a certificate confirming your participation in this historic mission! That information will help inform scientists and hopefully expand our knowledge of how our Sun works.

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