January 20, 2019

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe breaks record, becomes closest spacecraft to the Sun

01 November 2018, 08:13 | Ross Houston

Modal Trigger Illustration of NASA's Parker Solar Probe approaching the Sun. NASA

Illustration of NASA's Parker Solar Probe approaching the Sun

The Parker Solar Probe beat the previously held solar proximity record of 26.55 million miles from the Sun, set by the German-American Helios 2 spacecraft back in April 1976, on Monday.

Nicky Fox, Parker Solar Probe's project scientist, added: "The Sun's energy is always flowing past our world".

"We've been studying the Sun for decades, and now we're finally going to go where the action is", Alex Young, associate director for science in the Heliophysics Science Division at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, said ahead of the probe's launch in August.

The Parker Solar Probe on Monday reached closer to the Sun than any other man-made object ever has, said the United States' National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Parker Solar Probe, shown in this animation, became the closest-ever spacecraft to the Sun on October 29, 2018, when it passed within 26.55 million miles of the Sun's surface.

Parker will face "brutal" heat and radiation during the epic journey that will take it to within 3.83 million miles of the Sun's surface, according to the space agency.

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29 Oct, 20:04 Moscow time the solar probe of NASA , Parker broke the record for the closest approach to the Sun.

"The spacecraft passed the current record of 26.55 million miles (42.73 million kilometers) from the Sun's surface on October 29, 2018, at about 1:04 pm EDT (1704 GMT)", said a NASA statement. The Parker Solar Probe is expected to best that today as well, reaching higher speeds at about 10:54 p.m. EDT (0254 GMT on October 30), NASA officials said.

During its 7-year mission, the probe will complete 24 orbits of the Sun, coming within 3.8 million miles of its surface, and dip into the corona, the plasmic aura that is even hotter than the surface.

While Parker is in orbit around the Sun seven years, if the earlier does not fail.

To withstand the heat of almost 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit, the probe is protected by a special 4.5-inch-thick carbon-composite shield.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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