Monday, 18 February 2019
Latest news
Main » This Probe Just Became The Closest Ever Spacecraft to The Sun

This Probe Just Became The Closest Ever Spacecraft to The Sun

01 November 2018
This Probe Just Became The Closest Ever Spacecraft to The Sun

It is also expected that the Parker Solar Probe will break the record speed on the approach to the Sun, which was also installed "Helios-2" - 153,454 miles per hour.

NASA's Parker Solar Probe blasts off from Cape Canaveral on its mission to the Sun. It will continue to fly closer to the surface of the Sun, until the spacecraft reaches the point closest to the Sun on November 5.

Data collected by the Parker Solar Probe, NASA said, will add "key knowledge" to the agency's understanding of our Sun, "where changing conditions can propagate out into the Solar System, affecting Earth and other worlds". It is expected that in 2024 it is as "fit" to the Sun at a distance of 3.83 million miles.

"The previous record for closest solar approach was set by the German-American Helios 2 spacecraft in April 1976".

NASA's solar probe has officially broken 1972 the record set by the Helios 2 spacecraft, to become the closest space probe to approach the Sun.

The space agency said in a statement on Monday that Parker passed the current record of 26.55 million miles (42.73 million km) from the Sun's surface. Even the massive Delta IV Heavy (above) that launched the Parker Solar Probe on 12 August 2018 falls well short. This is around 7 times closer than the previous closest spacecraft which was within 27 million miles of the sun in the year 1976.

And it will keep getting closer to the sun until it flies through the corona, or outer atmosphere, for the first time next week, passing within 24 million kilometres of the solar surface.

On October 31, the day of Halloween, NASA will begin its first so-called solar encounter with the burning star.

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

In September, NASA released the first picture taken of the Parker Solar Probe.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.