30 October 2018
The AP reports that NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is “now closer to the sun than any spacecraft has ever gotten.” The spacecraft passed the previous record “of 26.6 million miles (43 million kilometers) set by Helios-2 back in 1976,” and will keep approaching “until it flies through the corona, or outer atmosphere, for the first time next week, passing within 15 million miles (24 million kilometers) of the solar surface.” Parker plans to make 24 close approaches to the sun “over the next seven years, ultimately coming within just 3.8 million miles (6 million kilometers).” SPACE reports that the Parker Solar Probe is also expected to break Helios 2’s record for “fastest speed relative to the sun” at 153,454 mph. The records will “fall again and again over the course of the Parker Solar Probe’s $1.5 billion mission.” (Image Credit: NASA)
More Info (Associated Press) | More Info (SPACE)