Spacecraft breaks record for coming closest to Sun
Spacecraft breaks record for coming closest to Sun
In 2024 the probe will approach the Sun at a distance of about 5 million
03 November, 2018, 02:33
Solar spacecraft smashes records for speed and proximity to the Sun (PHOTOS) A NASA probe has gotten closer to the Sun than any other spacecraft, coming within 26.65 million miles of the solar surface - and set the record for the fastest-ever man made object in the process.
The Parker Solar Probe is now the closest spacecraft to the sun-it passed the current record of 26.55 million miles from the sun's surface at 1:04 p.m. on Monday, as calculated by the Parker Solar Probe team. The record was previously held by the Helios 2 in 1976, which reached a heliocentric (or sun-relative) speed of 153,454 miles per hour.
Another record is in sight for the Parker Solar Probe.The spaceship is "expected to break the record for fastest spacecraft traveling relative to the Sun on October 29 at about 10:54 pm EDT (Tuesday 0254 GMT)", NASA said.
"It's been just 78 days since Parker Solar Probe launched, and we've now come closer to our star than any other spacecraft in history", Andy Driesman, the project manager for the probe with the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, said in a statement.
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The Parker Solar Probe was launched on August 12. "We are proud of this event, although we continue to focus on our first solar meeting, which starts on 31 October". Since them, the probe will make a total of 24 perihelions, moving away from the planet Venus and getting closer to the Sun's corona for the best observations that were ever reported about the Sun.
For several days around the November 5 perihelion, Parker Solar Probe will be completely out of contact with Earth because of interference from the Sun's overwhelming radio emissions. In all, the craft will travel almost 90 million miles, passing within Mercury's orbit and within 3.83 million miles of the sun's atmosphere, which is expected in 2024. NASA's Deep Space Network is helping scientists to recognize the speed and position of the spacecraft in the space.
An artist's sketch of the Parker Solar Probe approaching the sun.
The Parker Solar Probe is the first NASA aircraft to be named after a living astrophysicist; 91-year-old Eugene Parker, who proposed the notion of solar wind. This means that it will be within the crown of the Sun, that is the outer layers of its atmosphere where temperatures can reach 500 thousand Kelvin (about 500 thousand degrees Celsius) and even several millions of Kelvins.
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