Published: Thu, November 01, 2018
Science | By Michele Flores

NASA Spacecraft Sets Record For The Closest Approach To Sun

NASA Spacecraft Sets Record For The Closest Approach To Sun

A NASA probe is now closer to the sun than any spacecraft has ever gotten, setting a new world record.

Monday was the day when the Parker Solar Probe broke the record of 26.6 million miles that was set om 1976 by the German-US satellite called Helios-2.

During its 7-year mission, the probe will complete 24 orbits of the Sun, coming within 3.8 million miles of its surface, and dip into the corona, the plasmic aura that is even hotter than the surface.

"It's been 78 days since the launch of Solar probe Parker, and now he approached the star closer of all previous spacecraft".

The probe set a second record on October 29, becoming the fastest-ever man made object relative to the Sun when it hit colossal speeds of 153,454mph.

Throughout its mission, the probe will make six more Venus gravity assist and 24 total passes by the Sun.

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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". Yet, the spacecraft is gradually shrinking its orbit around the sun, with the final objective being 3.83 million miles (6.16 million km) from the surface. Dries man also said that it is a very proud moment for the whole team, but they are focused on their first solar encounter on October 31.

In a record breaking move, a NASA spacecraft made the closest approach to the Sun.

The probe is comparable in size to a small vehicle and NASA expects it to reach speeds of 430,000 miles per hour. The previous record was also set by the camera Helios 2 in April 1976. The team periodically measures the spacecraft's speed and position with the help of NASA's Deep Space Network or DSN. Now it is preparing to encounter the Sun on Wednesday, 31 October.

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. Perihelion - nearest to the Sun point of the orbit - for the first time reaches 5 November.

Solar probe Parker should study the structure and dynamics of magnetic fields in the sources of the solar wind and the plasma particles around the sun.

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