NASA spacecraft sets record for closest approach to sun

NASA spacecraft sets record for closest approach to sun

NASA spacecraft sets record for closest approach to sun

It launched in January 1976, and in April it approached the Sun at a distance of 43.4 million miles.

Parker Solar Probe will begin its first solar encounter on October 31, continuing to fly closer and closer to the Sun's surface until it reaches its first perihelion - the point closest to the Sun - on November 5, NASA said. Its final close approach in 2025 is expected to get within 3.83 million miles of the flaming gaseous orb.

The space agency said in a statement on Monday that Parker passed the current record of 26.55 million miles (42.73 million km) from the Sun's surface.

The Parker Solar Probe team measures the spacecraft's speed and position using NASA's Deep Space Network, or DSN.

These records will fall again and again over the course of the Parker Solar Probe's $1.5 billion mission, which began August 12 with a liftoff from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

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

The $1.5 billion unmanned spacecraft launched in August, on a strategic mission to protect the Earth by unveiling the mysteries of risky solar storms. The Parker Solar Probe is expected to best that today as well, reaching higher speeds at about 10:54 p.m. EDT (0254 GMT on October 30), NASA officials said.

Also Parker Solar Probe set the record relative to the Sun - more 246,960 km/ is Expected that by 2024, the probe reaches the speed of approximately 692 000 km/h. The relatively small, 685kg spacecraft needed to achieve a high speed in order to establish an orbit around the Sun-rather than getting drawn into the star's massive gravity well never to escape.

He also explained that they're very proud, but will also "remain focused on our first solar encounter".

Nicky Fox, Parker Solar Probe's project scientist, added: "The Sun's energy is always flowing past our world". However, these storms can disrupt satellites, power grids and rattle our planet's magnetic field.

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