The NASA’s Parker Solar Probe Spacecraft made the closest ever approach of a man-made spacecraft to the sun on Monday, Oct. 29. NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is now closer to the Sun than any spacecraft has ever been before.
Closest Approach To The Sun.
NASA’s much-hyped mission to “touch the Sun” has only been underway for a couple of months, but it’s already achieved something that no other spacecraft before it has. The plucky Parker Solar Probe is now closer to the Sun than any other spacecraft before it, coming within 26.55 million miles of our star on October 29th, and of course, it’s still pushing onward.
The spacecraft passed the current record of 26.55 million miles (42.73 million km) from the Sun’s surface on Monday, at about 1:04 p.m. EDT (1704 GMT), as calculated by the Parker Solar Probe team, according to an online statement of NASA.
The NASA’s Parker Solar Probe’s current distance from the Sun is still quite large, but that’ll change as the probe continues to creep closer and closer, eventually reaching just a few million miles from the center of the Solar System. Its closest approach should bring it within 3.83 million miles of the star, which is why the spacecraft had to be outfitted with such extraordinary protection technology.
NASA Parker Solar Probe breaks the record.
The spacecraft has beaten the previous record set by the German-American Helios 2 that made its approach in April 1976. The Parker Solar probe flew 26.55 million miles away from the surface of the star on Monday afternoon EDT. The Parker Solar Probe will repeatedly set and break its own record before making a final close approach of about 3.83 million miles away from the surface of the sun 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,” stated Andy Driesman, the project manager behind the Parker Solar Probe.
The spacecraft lifted off from Earth on Aug. 12 earlier this year. Its mission is to learn everything it can about the center of the solar system, the Sun.
In September, it took a snap of Earth as it sped toward Venus for its first gravity assist. From its position in space, it can see home as a bright dot among countless stars.
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