Solar spacecraft smashes records for speed and proximity to the Sun

03 November, 2018, 02:33 | Author: Darnell Taylor
  • Американский зонд побил рекорд приближения к Солнцу

The NASA's Parker Solar Probe Spacecraft made the closest ever approach of a man-made spacecraft to the sun on Monday, Oct. 29.

The device broke the record, Helios 2, which is close to the Sun on 42,73 million kilometers in 1976, reports the Country with reference to NASA.

"It's only been 78 days since the launch of Parker, but we're getting our star closer than any other spacecraft in history, said project Manager Andy Driesman of the applied physics Laboratory of Johns Hopkins University".

Parker Solar Probe was also expected to break the record for fastest spacecraft traveling relative to the Sun on October 29 at about 10:54 p.m. EDT. Attaining and then surpassing a speed of 246,960 kilometers per hour (153,454 miles per hour), the Parker probe became the fastest-ever human-built object relative to the Sun.

On Oct. 31, 2018, Parker Solar Probe began its first of 24 solar encounters. The plucky Parker Solar Probe is now closer to the Sun than any other spacecraft before it, coming within 26.55 million miles of our star on October 29th, and of course, it's still pushing onward. This autonomy is key not only during no-contact phases around the 24 planned perihelia but also throughout the mission, when the round-trip light time - the time it takes for radio signals to go back and forth between Earth and Parker Solar Probe - can be up to 31 minutes.

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The spacecraft is carrying a number of state-of-the-art instruments, allowing NASA scientists to collect vital data in order to answer fundamental questions about the Earth's closest star.

It is scheduled to reach its first perihelion on November 5 at 10 p.m. EST. Its name has been recorded in a probe that is fastest on the surface of the sun.

The team periodically measures the spacecraft's precise speed and position using NASA's Deep Space Network, or DSN.

"He called this cascade of energy the solar wind, and he described an entire complex system of plasmas, magnetic fields and energetic particles that make up this phenomenon", according to a NASA entry on Parker.

The current distance of the spacecraft from the Sun is still quite large, but it might change because the probe is moving closer towards the Sun. "The goal of the Parker probe is to study the effect of the sun on the surface of the Earth".


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