NASA spacecraft breaks record for coming closest to Sun

NASA's Parker Solar Probe Sets Record for Closest Approach to Sun

Harder, better, faster, stronger (and closer) - NASA's historic Parker mission is on a record-smashing spree and has no plans to stop yet. And the sun's powerful gravity will eventually accelerate the probe to a top speed of around 430,000 miles per hour (690,000 km/h), NASA officials have said.

Launched in August, Parker is on track to set another record late Monday night.

NASA expects to get the first batch of data in December, but the spacecraft has another mission: it holds a memory card with the names of over 1.1 million people who signed up to "travel" to the Sun.

"It's been 78 days since the launch of Solar probe Parker, and now he approached the star closer of all previous spacecraft".

"The previous record for closest solar approach was set by the German-American Helios 2 spacecraft in April 1976".

NASA's Parker Solar Probe, which launched earlier this year, has set a new record for becoming the closest human-made object to the Sun, the U.S. space agency announced Monday.

That record was likewise set by the Helios 2 back in 1976, and it now stands at 153,454MPH. Now it is preparing to encounter the Sun on Wednesday, 31 October.

The Parker Solar Probe's final flyby, in 2025, will bring the craft within a mere 3.83 million miles (6.16 million km) of the sun's surface. Breaking this, NASA's Parker Solar Probe made way inside that distance crossing the threshold at about 1704 GMT.

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

In a record breaking move, a NASA spacecraft made the closest approach to the Sun.

To withstand the heat of almost 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit, the probe is protected by a special 4.5-inch-thick carbon-composite shield.

"It's a proud moment for the team, though we remain focused on our first solar encounter, which begins on October 31", said Andy Driesman, project manager for the probe with the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, in a statement.

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