NASA’s Parker Solar Probe has set the record for the closest approach to the Sun by a man-made object. Scientists have confirmed that the spacecraft exceeded the current record of 26.55 million miles from Sun’s surface on Monday. The previous record was set by Helios 2 Spacecraft in April 1976. 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.
Parker will make 24 close approaches to the Sun over the next seven years. Dries man also said that it is a very proud moment for the whole team, but they are focused on their first solar encounter on October 31. The team periodically measures the spacecraft’s speed and position with the help of NASA’s Deep Space Network or DSN. Parker Solar Probe will start its first solar encounter on October 31. It will continue to fly closer to the surface of the Sun, until the spacecraft reaches the point closest to the Sun on November 5.
To face the heat of nearly 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit, the spacecraft is well protected by a special 4.5-inch thick carbon-composite shield. According to the space agency, It will face heat and radiation during its journey which will take it to within 3.83 million miles of the Sun’s surface. This is around 7 times closer than the previous closest spacecraft which was within 27 million miles of the sun in the year 1976. On its closest approach in the year 2024, Parker Solar Probe will be travelling at approx 430,000 mph and it will set a new record for a manmade object.
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