NASA solar probe named for MSU alumnus breaks records

Enlarge Image This illustration shows the probe nearing the sun.                  NASA  Johns Hopkins APL  Steve Gribben

The United States space agency NASA announced Tuesday that its Parker Solar Probe has become the spacecraft which got closest to the Sun.

The Parker Solar Probe was launched on August 12 this year on an unprecedented, seven-year long journey to unlock the mysteries of the Sun's fiery outer atmosphere and its effects on space weather.

Parker set its first record on Monday by becoming the closest spacecraft to the sun when it broke the previous record of 26.55 million miles (42.7 million kilometers) from the sun's surface set by the Helios 2 spacecraft in 1976.

"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", Andy Driesman, project manager of the mission, said in a statement.

Another record is in sight for the Parker Solar Probe.The spaceship is "expected to break the record for fastest spacecraft traveling relative to the Sun on October 29 at about 10:54 pm EDT (Tuesday 0254 GMT)", NASA said. It surpassed Helios-2's speed record of 153,454 miles per hour (247,000 kilometers per hour), relative to the sun.

On Oct. 31, 2018, Parker Solar Probe began its first of 24 solar encounters. On this day, the station will begin closer to the surface of the Sun, until November 5, its first perihelion - nearest to the Sun point of the orbit.

NASA Parker Solar Probe breaks the record.

The spacecraft is carrying a number of state-of-the-art instruments, allowing NASA scientists to collect vital data in order to answer fundamental questions about the Earth's closest star. "It would also be the first man-made object to go such a length in the solar system".

The Parker Solar Probe team periodically measures the spacecraft's precise speed and position using NASA's Deep Space Network, or DSN. "The goal of the Parker probe is to study the effect of the sun on the surface of the Earth".

The Parker Solar probe is likely to be the closest one to the Sun on October 31. Wayne has a flair for gathering data and information through extensive research efforts and has a strong set of skills to cover nearly any domain easily and produce reports that are easy to understand and aid in making well-informed decisions.

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