NASA launches solar probe

NASA has sent a probe on a mission to explore the sun like never before

The Parker Solar Probe lifted off from Cape Canaveral at 3:31 a.m. this morning. 

According to NASA officials the probe will be the first ever to 'touch' the Sun; the spacecraft will be travelling directly into the Sun's atmosphere about six million kilometres from the Sun's surface.

The car sized probe was named after 91 year old astrophysicist Eugene Parker who proposed the existence of solar wind 60 years ago. He was on site to watch the launch this morning - the first launch he was ever able to witness with his own eyes.

"It's a whole new phase and it's going to be fascinating throughout," he said during an interview. "All I can say is wow, here we go! We're in for some learning over the next several years."