NASA hopes to launch an $18 million unmanned spacecraft into the sun's core by 2018. Scientists hope the data it collects will provide better understanding of the sun's environment and its effects on Earth.
■Class discussion: According to Discovery News: "Various incarnations of Solar Probe Plus have been at the top of solar physicists' wish lists for more than 50 years, but until recently the technical problems exceeded the available budget to solve them." Do these types of space experiments hold any interest for you? Why or why not?