NASA Spacecraft Breaks Record of Cruising Closest to Sun

NASA Spacecraft Breaks Record To Be Closest Human Made Object To The Sun

As of 10:00 a.m. GMT/UTC (5:00 a.m. EDT) on the following day, the probe was 40,350,600 km (25,072,700 mi) from the Sun's surface and closing fast, beating another of Helios 2's records from 1976. On the eve of the Parker Solar Probe showed the Earth from a distance of 43 million kilometers.

It happened on October 29, when Parker crossed the mark of 42.48 million kilometers to the Sun. At about 10:54 p.m. EDT, Parker is expected to surpass the record for heliocentric speed, which is 153,454 miles per hour, set by Helios 2 in April 1976.

The Parker Solar Probe is now expected to continue its approach, passing through the corona, or the sun's outer atmosphere, next week, reaching within 15 million miles of its surface. The spacecraft will study the sun during 24 close flybys over the next seven years, getting closer and closer to our star with each encounter. The current record for heliocentric speed is 153,454 miles per hour, set by Helios 2 in April 1976.

Nasa's ambitious Solar Parker Probe (PSP) has just got closer to the solar surface than any other spacecraft in history.

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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". The report also says that on October 30 at 05:54 Moscow time the probe was supposed to break another record - the speed limit where the spacecraft was approaching our star. Until then, the probe will make 24 close approaches. "Some high-energy solar particles accelerate to almost half the speed of light, and we don't know why". "Another question we hope to answer is: Why is the solar wind accelerating up to very high speeds in the corona?"

"It's a bit like if you walked away from a campfire and suddenly got much hotter", Fox said.

Over the next seven years the Parker Solar Probe will repeat this manoeuvre six more times, losing a little bit of orbital energy with each pass.

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