NASA’s Parker Solar Probe breaks record, becomes closest spacecraft to the Sun

An artist's impression of the probe near the sun Pic NASA

An artist's impression of the probe near the sun Pic NASA

This handout photo released by NASA shows the United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket with the Parker Solar Probe onboard shortly after the Mobile Service Tower was rolled back on August 10, 2018.

NASA announced its new milestone today, saying that according to its team's calculations, the Parker Solar Probe exceeded Helios 2's 26.55 million miles record on Monday afternoon.

NASA's Parker Solar Probe has just made history by making the closest ever approach to the Sun by a human-made object.

The previous record was set by the German-American collaboration Helios 2 in April 1976.

"The spacecraft passed the current record of 26.55 million miles (42.73 million kilometers) from the Sun's surface on October 29, 2018, at about 1:04 pm EDT (1704 GMT)", said a NASA statement.

Parker blasted off on its odyssey atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket in the early hours of August 12, 2018.

Parker Solar Probe will begin its first solar encounter on October 31, continuing to fly closer and closer to the Sun's surface until it reaches its first perihelion - the point closest to the Sun - on November 5.

A NASA sun-studying spacecraft just entered the record books.

The spacecraft sports a special carbon-composite shield to protect itself and its instruments from intense heat and radiation during its close flybys. This is seven times closer than the previous closest spacecraft, Helios 2, which came within 27 million miles of the Sun in 1976. 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.

Parker's first close encounter with the Sun is scheduled for October 31.

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