A Saturday morning launch attempt was foiled by last-minute technical trouble.
This will be within 6 million kilometres of the sun's surface, closer than any other spacecraft has been before.
"Now I have to turn from really biting my nails to thinking about the interesting things [to come] that I don't know yet, which will be made clear, I assume, over the next five, six, or seven years", he said. Sixty years ago, it was Parker who first proposed that the sun sent out a stream of solar wind.
Scientists hope this close encounter will give them a better understanding of solar wind and geomagnetic storms that risk wreaking chaos on Earth by knocking out the power grid.
The specially shielded Parker Solar Probe will have to endure temperatures up to 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit (1,370 degrees Celsius) and solar radiation intensities 475 times higher than we're used to here on Earth.
"The spacecraft must operate in the sun's corona, where temperatures can reach millions of degrees", Brown told ABC News via email.
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"We'll be going where no spacecraft has dared go before - within the corona of a star", said project scientist Nicky Fox of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab in Laurel, Maryland, which designed the probe and manages the mission. It also holds a memory card containing more than 1.1 million names submitted by the public to travel with the spacecraft to the Sun.
A mission like Parker Solar Probe has been a dream of scientists for decades, but only recently has the required technology - like the heat shield, solar array cooling system, and fault management system - been available to make such a mission a reality.
Parker Solar Probe's solar arrays can produce 388 watts of power, depending on configuration.
Over the next seven years, there will be 24 close approaches to the sun. "We've looked at it, we've studied it from missions that are close in - even as close as the planet Mercury - but we have to go there".
"All I can say is, 'wow, we are in for some learning for the next several years,"' he said during a post-launch interview on NASA TV.
That will make it the fastest ever human-made object, speedy enough to travel from NY to Tokyo in one minute.
"To protect itself, the spacecraft has a thermal protection system, or heat shield, that will provide a shadow in which the spacecraft will "hide" to perform its scientific data gathering". Sensors on the spacecraft will make certain the heat shield faces the sun at the right times.
Justin Kasper, a project scientist and professor at the University of MI, said: 'The Parker Solar Probe will help us do a much better job of predicting when a disturbance in the solar wind could hit Earth'.