CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s a daring mission to shed light on the mysteries to our closest star, the sun.

The Parker Solar Probe is named after University of Chicago astrophysicist Dr. Eugene Parker. The mission was first proposed 60 years ago.

parker watches parker launch closeup2 credit nasa glenn benson Parker Solar Probe Blasts Off

(Credit: NASA)

Around the same time the 91-year-old Parker came up with the theory of solar wind. He is the first living person to have a NASA mission named after him.

Parker was in Florida to see the send-off.

 

 

“I really have to turn from biting my names and getting it launched,” said Parker. “It’s a whole new phase and it’s going to be fascinating and all I can say it ‘wow! Here’s we go. We’re in for some learning over the next several years.'”