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Nasa probe to 'touch the sun' in historic mission

  • Video report by ITV News Science Correspondent Alok Jha

Nasa has announced a historic mission that will send a probe directly into the Sun's atmosphere.

The US space agency has revealed the probe will "touch the Sun" as it flies within 3.9 million miles of the star's surface into the solar atmosphere, which is known as the corona.

The spacecraft will be subjected to extreme heat and radiation from the corona, where temperatures are nearly 1,377C (2,500F).

The solar probe is set to launch in the summer of 2018 and its aim will be to better understand how stars work and answer questions like why the Sun's corona is hotter than its surface.