NASA’s historic Parker Solar Probe – enroute to the Sun to unravel its mysteries – has become the closest spacecraft to it. The spacecraft passed the current record of 26.55 million miles from the Sun’s surface on October 29, as calculated by the Parker Solar Probe team, NASA said in a statement on Monday. The previous record for closest solar approach was set by the German-American Helios 2 spacecraft in April 1976.
The $1.5 billion unmanned spacecraft launched in August, on a strategic mission to protect the Earth by unveiling the mysteries of dangerous solar storms.
Its goal is make a series of 24 flybys past our scorching star. Another record is in sight for the Parker Solar Probe. The spaceship is “expected to break the record for fastest spacecraft traveling relative to the Sun on Oct. 29 at about 10:54 pm EDT (Tuesday 0254 GMT),” NASA said. Parker’s first close encounter with the Sun is scheduled for October 31. Its final close approach coming just 3.83 million miles from the Sun’s surface is expected in 2024, NASA said.