The Parker Solar Probe will fly straight through the outer solar atmosphere to eventually get within 6 million miles of the sun's surface, allowing scientists to vicariously explore the sun in a way never before possible.
The rocket is designed to require far less maintenance and refurbishment between flights, and is certified to carry humans to space later this year when SpaceX launches its Dragon crew capsule to the International Space Station.
The effort is part of SpaceX's push to make spaceflight cheaper by re-using costly rocket and spaceship components after each launch.
There were no injuries nor any threat to the public reported after the unmanned SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket exploded on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral in Florida during a test.
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