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Nasa delays its space flight to the Sun

The US national space agency Nasa today pulled back on launching a satellite closer to the Sun than any other has gone before, due to last-minute technical difficulties.

The Parker Solar Probe was set to launch this morning just before 9am UK time from Florida's Cape Canaveral, but an alarm raised during the 65-minute weather window could not be resolved before time elapsed.

It will now launch tomorrow morning if conditions allow, aiming for a launch time of 8:31am BST.

This morning's launch of a @ulalaunch #DeltaIV Heavy rocket carrying the #ParkerSolarProbe spacecraft was scrubbed. The launch is planned for Sunday, Aug. 12. Details: https://t.co/0BhSpVA9oZ pic.twitter.com/QQWZv2gKo0

— NASA (@NASA) August 11, 2018

If successful, the satellite will be the fastest-moving manmade object ever made.

A statement from Nasa read:

The launch of a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket carrying the Parker Solar Probe spacecraft was scrubbed today due to a violation of a launch limit, resulting in a hold. There was not enough time remaining in the window to recycle.

The launch is planned for Sunday, Aug. 12 from Space Launch Complex-37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The forecast shows a 60 percent chance of favourable weather conditions for launch.

The Delta IV Heavy rocket which will carry the probe is the world's second highest-capacity rocket at 233 feet tall, and is the most powerful rocket currently in operation by Nasa.

The Parker Solar Probe's mission is set to "revolutionise" our understanding of the Sun, as the satellite will get close to 4 per cent of the distance between the Sun and the Earth.

Entering a part of the Sun's atmosphere known as the corona for the first time, the probe will explore how energy moves through the atmosphere. This will provide scientists with new data to forecast changes in Earth's space environment.

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