Solar Probe stands strong against the Sun
NASA’s Parker Solar Probe managed to endure the closest encounter yet against our Solar system’s main star, the Sun, by approaching it as close as 15 million miles and reporting a green status in regards to the integrity of it’s instruments and itself when faced with temperatures up to 820 degrees Fahrenheit, that will get hotter as it reaches in closer.
“Parker Solar Probe was designed to take care of itself and its precious payload during this close approach, with no control from us on Earth — and now we know it succeeded,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate at the agency headquarters in Washington. “Parker is the culmination of six decades of scientific progress. Now, we have realized humanity’s first close visit to our star, which will have implications not just here on Earth, but for a deeper understanding of our universe.”
This distance was achieved on Nov. 5, and this wasn’t the only feat the probe pinned to his achievements, as it also reached a top speed of 213,200 miles per hour, setting a new record in spacecraft speed, and according to the calculations made by NASA before the Probe set off, they’re expecting this speed to reach an astounding 430,000 miles per hour during the voyage.
The probe started it’s first “gravity assist” at the end of October, will end on the 11 of this month, and is expected to get even closer, an estimate of 4 million miles away from the Sun, aided by it’s cutting-edge thermal shield, in this revolution the shield withstood 820 degrees Fahrenheit, but is expected to face off against a total of 2,500 degrees. As for the scientific data, the probe will downlink the info to Earth a few weeks after this solar encounter phase ends.
The main tasks of this probe are the research and study the sun, along with it’s structure, plasma, magnetic fields, electric fields, and energetic particles of the Sun’s corona, along with capturing images of the solar wind.