NASA’s Parker Solar Probe Close to "Touching" the Sun

Illustration of NASA's Parker Solar Probe approaching the Sun

The record was previously held by the Helios 2 in 1976, which reached a heliocentric (or sun-relative) speed of 153,454 miles per hour.

NASA launched the exploration probe to the Sun less than 80 days ago, on August 12, on a first of its kind mission to study the Sun's corona.

In a Statement, Parker Solar Probe project Manager, Andy Driesman, of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, said that it has just been 78 days to the launch of Parker Solar Probe and we are closer than ever to the Sun.

Until 2024 Parker should approach the Sun at a distance of 6.1 million kilometers and transmit the collected information to Earth.

Apparatus Solar Probe Parker, who was sent on an exploratory mission to the Sun, close to a record distance.

The previous record belongs to the spacecraft Helios 2, which was jointly developed by Germany and the USA.

The spaceship is "expected to break the record for fastest spacecraft traveling relative to the Sun on October 29 at about 10:54 pm EDT (Tuesday 0254 GMT)", NASA said.

Back in 1976, Helios 2 made mark for fastest speed relative to the Sun at 246,960 km/hr. "It's a proud moment for the team, though we remain focused on our first solar encounter".

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.

The probe will follow an elliptical orbit that will take it inside the corona, so it will finally get the closest it has ever been in 2025 - at only 6.12 million km (3.8 million miles). Now it is preparing to encounter the Sun on Wednesday, 31 October.

Each of these assists will see the probe use Venus' gravitational pull to drain some more of its orbital energy.

While Parker is in orbit around the Sun seven years, if the earlier does not fail.

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.



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