NASA Solar Probe Becomes Closest Spacecraft to the Sun

An artist's impression of the probe near the sun Pic NASA

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

Nicky Fox, Parker Solar Probe's project scientist, added: "The Sun's energy is always flowing past our world".

You can also read about how NASA equipped the probe so it could fly at a record close distance to the hot star.

The Parker Solar Probe on Monday reached closer to the Sun than any other man-made object ever has, said the United States' National Aeronautics and Space Administration. In the US the Department also expects that the spacecraft will break the record concerning the speed with which it approaches the Sun.

"It's been 78 days since the launch of Solar probe Parker, and now he approached the star closer of all previous spacecraft". Scientists have confirmed that the spacecraft exceeded the current record of 26.55 million miles from Sun's surface on Monday.

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Parker blasted off on its odyssey atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket in the early hours of August 12, 2018.

Expect a lot more broken records as the Parker Solar Probe mission continues, prepared to make a final close approach of 3.83 million miles from the Sun's surface in 2024. Now it is preparing to encounter the Sun on Wednesday, 31 October. Breaking this, NASA's Parker Solar Probe made way inside that distance crossing the threshold at about 1704 GMT. The spacecraft uses a special carbon-composite shield for protection from intense heat and radiation during close flybys. 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.

"It's a proud moment for the team", he added, "though we remain focused on our first solar encounter, which begins on October 31".

The Sun-bound mission is expected to last around seven years, during which the probe will orbit the planet Venus to get closer to the Sun.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.


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