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  1. ITV Report

Nasa spacecraft heads to sun for closest look yet

Nasa has launched a spacecraft to the sun that will fly closer to our star than anything ever sent before.

The Parker Solar Probe rocketed away from Cape Canaveral, Florida, early on Sunday.

It is on an unprecedented quest that will take it straight through the edges of the corona, or outer solar atmosphere, just 3.8 million miles from the sun’s surface.

The mission had been expected to launch on Saturday, but was delayed at the last minute due to a technical problem.

The craft will be protected from the heat of the sun by a revolutionary new heat shield.

It is due tol fly past Venus in October, which will set up the first solar encounter in November.

Altogether, it will make 24 close approaches over the next seven years.

Thousands of spectators jammed the launch site, including 91-year-old astrophysicist Eugene Parker after whom the spacecraft is named.

He proposed the existence of the solar wind 60 years ago.