NASA’s Parker solar probe has just broken two records — the fastest man-made object and the closest object to the sun,media reported. The solar probe, launched in August 2018, will be able to withstand the heat of the sun’s outer atmosphere, which will help humanity uncover some of the secrets hidden inside the sun. The probe’s four instruments will help scientists understand how the corona and solar wind affect earth and other bodies in the solar system.
In addition, the Parker probe orbits the sun very, very fast, and it is close enough to the sun to “touch”.
On January 29, local time, the mission control center at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory said Parker broke his own record for speed and proximity to hot stars during the flyby. The flyby was the probe’s fourth close to the sun (“recent point”), and in the early hours of February 1, the car-sized probe sent back an “A-state” signal to Earth, the best of the four possible signals.
Parker previously set both records in November 2018:
Fastest man-made object: 153,454 mph (247,000 km/h)
Closest to sun probe: 26.55 million miles (42.7 million km)
Now the new record is:
Fastest man-made object: 244,255 mph (393,044 km/h)
The closest probe to the sun: 11.6 million miles (18.6 million kilometers)
Next, Parker will continue to break his own record until 2024, when it will get closer to the sun. Protected by a tip-around heat shield, the probe will eventually reach within 4.3 million miles of the sun’s surface.