The NASA probe came at a record distance to the Sun

Parker Solar Probe breaks speed record, becomes closest spacecraft to sun

NASA's Parker Solar Probe set two records on October 29 - one for becoming the closest a man-made object has gotten to the sun, and one for becoming the fastest-ever human-made object relative to the sun. The plucky Parker Solar Probe is now closer to the Sun than any other spacecraft before it, coming within 26.55 million miles of our star on October 29th, and of course it's still pushing onward. The record was previously held by the Helios 2 in 1976, which reached a heliocentric (or sun-relative) speed of 153,454 miles per hour.

"Parker Solar Probe will repeatedly break its own records, achieving a top speed of about 430,000 miles per hour in 2024", NASA's Sarah Frazier wrote in a blog post.

The probe has been launched for just 78 days, according to Andy Driesman, project manager at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. At perihelion, Parker Solar Probe will fly through material at about 3.6 million degrees Fahrenheit - but because material in this region is so tenuous, it doesn't influence the temperature of the spacecraft.

On Oct. 31, 2018, Parker Solar Probe began its first of 24 solar encounters.

An illustration of what the Parker Solar Probe approaching the sun.

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NASA said, while tweeting the achievement of Parker Probe, "We have reached the closest to touch the sun".

"He called this cascade of energy the solar wind, and he described an entire complex system of plasmas, magnetic fields and energetic particles that make up this phenomenon", according to a NASA entry on Parker.

That's a speed that totally blows the Helios 2 probe out of the water, but the Parker spacecraft is really just getting started. If Parker Solar Probe can do this, this could be the biggest achievement of science in the world. NASA's Deep Space Network is helping scientists to recognize the speed and position of the spacecraft in the space. Recently, astronomers have revealed the first photo of the Sun from a space probe.

The spacecraft blasted off on August 12 on humans' first close visit to a star and is expected to revolutionize our understanding of the Sun.

The mission is expected to revolutionize scientific understanding of the sun and its role in how it affects the Earth and the solar system.

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