Sunday, 18 November, 2018

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
Guillermo Lane | 01 November, 2018, 20:16

NASA's Parker Solar Probe now holds the record for closest approach to the Sun by a human-made object.

It will continue to break its own record over the next seven years, carrying out 24 close approaches, reaching within 3.83 million miles from the sun by 2024. These observations will add key knowledge to NASA's efforts to understand the Sun, where changing conditions can propagate out into the solar system, affecting Earth and other worlds.

The previous record was set by the German-American collaboration Helios 2 in April 1976. The current record for heliocentric speed is 153,454 miles per hour, set by Helios 2 in April 1976.

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. Even the massive Delta IV Heavy (above) that launched the Parker Solar Probe on 12 August 2018 falls well short. 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. Parker will be the first spacecraft to fly through the Sun's corona, the outermost part of the star's atmosphere. The report also says that on October 30 at 05:54 Moscow time the probe was supposed to break another record - the speed limit where the spacecraft was approaching our star.

Under the plan, Parker several times circled the Sun in elliptical orbit, with each new attempt to reduce the distance to the star.

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The Parker Solar Probe is the first NASA aircraft to be named after a living astrophysicist; 91-year-old Eugene Parker, who proposed the notion of solar wind.

Each of these assists will see the probe use Venus' gravitational pull to drain some more of its orbital energy.

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.

The primary goal of the Parker Solar Probe is to study the solar wind.

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