Launch of NASA's Parker Solar Probe atop a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV Heavy rocket on Aug 12, 2018, pushing over 2 million pounds of thrust as the $1.5 billion mission set sail from Cape Canaveral AFS Launch Complex 37. Built by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, the spacecraft is the most autonomous ever made, and will become the first spacecraft in history to 'touch' the sun. It will also become fastest human-made object in history when it makes its closest approach to the sun, traveling at speeds of up to 430,000 miles per hour (700,000 kilometers per hour) as it swoops through its atmosphere 24 times over a period of 7 years (or as fast as traveling from New York City to Tokyo in less than one minute).
It's also the first mission to ever be named after someone who is still alive, Dr Eugene Parker, who was also in attendance for the launch (it was his first rocket launch, too).
All photos copyright 2018 Mike Killian Photography, all rights reserved. Please contact me for licensing to use.
Me with the Delta IV Heavy for scale.