NASA spacecraft sets record for closest approach to sun

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

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

Solar probe Solar Probe Parker approached the Sun at a record close distance.

NASA's solar probe has officially broken 1972 the record set by the Helios 2 spacecraft, to become the closest space probe to approach the Sun.

Starting Wednesday, the probe will begin moving closer and closer to the Sun's surface, until it reaches its first perihelion-the point at which the satellite is nearest to the Sun-around 10:28 p.m. ET on November 5.

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.

A NASA sun-studying spacecraft just entered the record books. After that, the probe will burn up in the sunlight.

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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. It will surpass Helios-2's speed record of 247,000 km/h, relative to the sun. The sun's gravity will eventually see the probe reach speeds of about 430,000mph. To move closer to the sun, a spacecraft has to lose some of this energy.

Parker blasted off on its odyssey atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket in the early hours of August 12, 2018. It conducted the first of these manoeuvres on 3 October, passing within 2,429 km (1,509 miles) of the surface of Venus and, as this was only 52 days 1 hour and 13 minutes after its launch, breaking the record for Fastest interplanetary journey in the process.

While Parker is in orbit around the Sun seven years, if the earlier does not fail. 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. It is assumed that one of them will pass at a distance of 6.16 million km from the star. The spacecraft uses a special carbon-composite shield for protection from intense heat and radiation during close flybys.

To learn as much as it can about the solar winds, Parker needs to get as close as possible to these eruptions.

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