Parker Solar Probe Breaks a Record of Closest Approach to the Sun

Parker Solar Probe Breaks a Record of Closest Approach to the Sun

Parker Solar Probe gets closer to Sun again holds the record. As you know the probe is considered the closest approach to the Sun by a human-made object. Now Parker probe passed the record of 26.55 million miles (43 million km) from the sun’s surface. Note that the closest approach to the Sun launched on August 12, 2018.

The previous record for closest solar approach was set by the German-American Helios 2 spacecraft in April 1976. As the Parker Solar Probe mission progresses, the spacecraft will repeatedly break its own records, with a final close approach of 3.83 million miles (6.2 million km) from the sun’s surface expected in 2024.

“It’s been just 78 days since Parker Solar Probe launched, and we’ve now come closer to our star than any other spacecraft in history. It’s a proud moment for the team, though we remain focused on our first solar encounter, which begins on October 31”, said Project Manager Andy Driesman, from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.

Nowadays record for heliocentric speed is 153,454 miles per hour, set by Helios 2 in April 1976.

According to a NASA statement “The Parker Solar Probe team periodically measures the spacecraft’s precise speed and position using NASA’s Deep Space Network, or DSN. The DSN sends a signal to the spacecraft, which then retransmits it back to the DSN, allowing the team to determine the spacecraft’s speed and position based on the timing and characteristics of the signal. Parker Solar Probe’s speed and position were calculated using DSN measurements made on October 24, and the team used that information along with known orbital forces to calculate the spacecraft’s speed and position from that point on.

Source: earthsky.org

Image Credit: www.clarin.com