NASA’s Parker Solar Probe hits 95km/s while orbiting the Sun

Parker Solar Probe Launch
The United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket launches NASA's Parker Solar Probe to touch the Sun, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2018 from Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. Parker Solar Probe is humanity’s first-ever mission into a part of the Sun’s atmosphere called the corona. Here it will directly explore solar processes that are key to understanding and forecasting space weather events that can impact life on Earth. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

Launched in August, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe recently undertook its first dangerous steps towards the Sun.

The probe this weekend announced itself safe and fully functional after it endured its first perihelion, or close pass of the Sun’s surface.

The probe is  Sun to better study our closest star’s solar winds and spots, and on Saturday, it radioed back to Earth to announce its status.

NASA’s probe came within 15 million miles of the Sun’s surface, smashing the record for the closest approach of a human made object to the Sun.

The probe also broke the speed record for a spacecraft too.

“Our #ParkerSolarProbe spacecraft reached a top speed of 213 200 miles per hour during its first close approach to our closest star, setting a new record for spacecraft speed,” NASA tweeted on Monday.

That’s a speed of 95 kilometres per second.

As the mission continues, and Parker gets closer to the Sun, it’ll repeatedly smash its own record.

And as for the data, scientists will have to wait until the probe breaches the Sun’s radio interference before it can send us what it knows so far.

Feature image: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Andy Walker, former editor


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