NASA Spacecraft Sets Record For The Closest Approach To Sun

The probe is named in honour of astrophysicist Dr Eugene Parker

Image The probe is named in honour of astrophysicist Dr Eugene Parker

This leads us to another of the Parker Solar Probe's records, broken on Monday 29 October at 6:04 p.m GMT/UTC (1:04 p.m. EDT): Closest approach to the sun.

A German-American spacecraft had reached within 26.55 million miles of the Sun's surface in April 1976 to set the previous record. In all, the craft will travel almost 90 million miles, passing within Mercury's orbit and within 3.83 million miles of the sun's atmosphere, which is expected in 2024.

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

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.

"The spacecraft passed the current record of 26.55 million miles (42.73 million kilometers) from the Sun's surface on October 29, 2018, at about 1:04 pm EDT (1704 GMT)", said a NASA statement.

The probe's mission will take it through the sun's corona for the first time next week.

For the record, the Sun is about 149.6 million kilometres from Earth. It will pass within 15 million miles (24 million km) of the surface of the sun.

According to Advocator, Parker has already surpassed this record and continues its journey closer to our sun.

"It's a proud moment for the team", Project Manager Andy Driesman said, "though we remain focused on our first solar encounter, which begins on October 31." .

Tomorrow, the probe will begin the observation phase of its orbit, turning its instruments - protected by a 4.5-inch-thick (11.43 cm) carbon-composite heat shield - towards the Sun. It will reach its first perihelion, or point closest to the Sun, at about 10:28 p.m. EST on November 5, according to NASA.

Research NASA broke the record for closest approach to the Sun.

And NASA's Parker Solar Probe, travelling at more than 240,000km/h, isn't yet done with setting new records.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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