Publicado: Vie, Noviembre 02, 2018
Ciencia | Por Aurelio Ontiveros

NASA Parker Solar Probe spacecraft sets new record with Sun approach

NASA Parker Solar Probe spacecraft sets new record with Sun approach

At about 10:54 p.m. EDT, Parker is expected to surpass the record for heliocentric speed, which is 153,454 miles per hour, set by Helios 2 in April 1976.

That record was likewise set by the Helios 2 back in 1976, and it now stands at 153,454MPH. But NASA's Parker Solar Probe zoomed inside that distance today (Oct. 29), crossing the threshold at about 1:04 p.m. EDT (1704 GMT), agency officials said.

Starting Wednesday, the probe will begin moving closer and closer to the Sun's surface, until it reaches its first perihelion-the point at which the satellite is nearest to the Sun-around 10:28 p.m. ET on November 5. It broke the record set by the German-American Helios 2 spacecraft in April 1976.

"We've been studying the Sun for decades, and now we're finally going to go where the action is", Alex Young, associate director for science in the Heliophysics Science Division at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, said ahead of the probe's launch in August. 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.

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NASA's solar probe has officially broken 1972 the record set by the Helios 2 spacecraft, to become the closest space probe to approach the Sun.

Over the next seven years, the probe will make 24 close approaches and finally get the closest it will ever be - at 3.8 million miles. "This is a significant moment for us, but we continue to focus on the first maximum closer to the Sun, which should begin on 31 October".

During its mission, the probe will dip in and out of orbit around the Sun reaching within 3.83 million miles of its scorching surface.

"It's a bit like if you walked away from a campfire and suddenly got much hotter", Fox said. On its closest approach in 2024, the probe will be traveling at approximately 430,000 miles per hour, setting a new speed record for a manmade object. The spacecraft uses a special carbon-composite shield for protection from intense heat and radiation during close flybys.

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