NASA's Parker Solar Probe breaks record for closest approach to sun

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

NASA probe is now closest ever spacecraft to the sun

Parker Solar Probe was also expected to break the record for fastest spacecraft traveling relative to the Sun on October 29 at about 10:54 p.m. EDT.

NASA's Parker Solar Probe hasn't even completed its first historic swing around the Sun, but just this week it broke two space records that have held for over 42 years!

At 1:04 p.m. EDT Monday, the spacecraft passed the current record of 26.55 million miles from the Sun's surface as calculated by the Parker Solar Probe team.

The previous records for closest solar approach and speed were set by the German-American Helios 2 spacecraft in April 1976.

"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", said Project Manager Andy Driesman.

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This unmanned spacecraft, built at the cost of 1.5 billion dollars, was launched in August. Its mission is to learn everything it can about the center of the solar system, the sun.

"Parker Solar Probe is also expected to break the record for fastest spacecraft traveling relative to the Sun on October 29 at about 10:54 p.m. EDT". By April of that year, the spacecraft had set new records for closest distance to the Sun, and speed travelling around the Sun. These observations, gathered closer to the Sun than ever before, will help scientists begin to answer outstanding questions about the Sun's fundamental physics - including how particles and solar material are accelerated out into space at such high speeds and why the Sun's atmosphere, the corona, is so much hotter than the surface below. Parker was one of the first in the world of specialists involved in studies of the solar wind. NASA's Deep Space Network is helping scientists to recognize the speed and position of the spacecraft in the space.

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.

How did the Parker Solar Probe's journey of 90 million miles begin? "The goal of the Parker probe is to study the effect of the sun on the surface of the Earth".

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