Solar Probe Plus
Speaking of the Sun, we owe it a visit. Though many probes have studied our star from a distance, we simply haven't had the technology to check it out up close. NASA's Solar Probe Plus, scheduled to launch in 2018, will change all that. It will travel all the way into the Sun's outer corona, only 3,700,000 miles from the molten surface (well over 10 times as close as Mercury!). The Probe Plus will also be the fastest manmade object ever, reaching a speed of 120 miles/second.