Parker Solar Probe breaks speed record, becomes closest spacecraft to sun

Parker Solar Probe breaks speed record, becomes closest spacecraft to sun

It was only yesterday that NASA announced its do-it-all star-studying machine has gotten closer to the Sun than any spacecraft before it, and now the probe has broken another record.

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.

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. As the mission progresses, the spacecraft will make a final close approach of 3.83 million miles from the sun's surface, expected in 2024.

"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 of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physcis Laboratory reported. NASA's Parker Solar Probe is now closer to the Sun than any spacecraft has ever been before. Again, it broke a record set by Helios 2. "The team proud, but we continue to focus on our first contact with the Sun, which starts on 31 October".

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"The Parker Solar Probe's observations will help us answer questions like: Why is the corona a couple million degrees hotter than the sun?" On this day, the station will begin closer to the surface of the Sun, until November 5, its first perihelion - nearest to the Sun point of the orbit.

Parker Solar Probe employs a host of autonomous systems to keep the spacecraft safe without guidance from Earth - including automatic retraction of the solar panels to regulate their temperature, attitude control using solar limb sensors that ensures all of the instruments remain in the heat shield's shadow, and a sophisticated guidance and control system that keeps the spacecraft pointed correctly.

It is assumed that the probe Parker get seven times closer to the Sun than any other spacecraft previously going person.

The spacecraft blasted off on August 12 on humans' first close visit to a star and is expected to revolutionize our understanding of the Sun. These observations will add key knowledge to our understanding of the sun, where changing conditions can propagate out into the solar system, affecting Earth and other planets.



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