Nasa's Parker Solar Probe is alive and kicking after skimming 15 million miles (24 million kilometers) from the surface of the sun on Monday night.
The speed was 213,000 mph (342,000 km / h) compared to the sun, because it penetrated the outer solar atmosphere, or corona – closer than any spacecraft ever reached.
Mission controllers from Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Lab received an A-status signal yesterday – the best of all four possible status signals.
This means that the Parker Solar Probe works well and that all instruments work correctly.
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Nasa's Parker Solar Probe (artist impression) is alive and well after 15 million miles (24 million kilometers) skimming from the sun's surface on Monday evening
Parker Solar Probe is designed to take care of itself and its precious cargo during this near approach, without control of us on earth – and now we know it's been successful, "said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator at Nasa & # 39; s Directorium Science Mission at the agency's headquarters in Washington.
Parker is the culmination of six decades of scientific progress.
Now we have realized the first visit of mankind to our star, which will have consequences not only here on earth, but also for a deeper understanding of our universe. & # 39;
NASA & # 39; s Nicola Fox says that scientists & # 39; can not wait to get the data. & # 39; The observations could reveal some of the sun's mysteries.
Assuming that it survives the harsh solar environment, the spacecraft will come closer in the next seven years. The next one is in April.
Parker last week surpassed the record of 26.6 million miles (43 million kilometers) that Helios-2 had put down in 1976.
It will come closer and closer to the sun until it flies through the corona, or outside atmosphere, for the first time next week and passes the surface of the sun within 15 million miles (24 million kilometers).
Mission controllers from Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Lab received an A-status signal yesterday – the best of all four possible status signals. This means that the Parker Solar Probe works well and that all instruments work correctly
Parker will make 24 approximate approaches to the sun in the next seven years, ultimately within just 3.8 million miles (6 million kilometers).
Launched in August, Parker is on schedule to set a new record on Monday night.
It will exceed the Helios-2 speed record of 153,454 miles per hour (247,000 kilometers per hour) in relation to the sun.
& # 39; It's only been 78 days since Parker Solar Probe was launched and we have now come closer to our star than any other spaceship in history, "said project manager Andy Driesman of John & # 39; s Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland.
& # 39; It is a proud moment for the team, although we continue to focus on our first meeting on solar energy, which starts on October 31st. & # 39;
The pictured center of the correct image is the earth as seen in the Parker Solar Prove, a NASA spacecraft that is currently on a historic journey to touch & # 39; the sun & # 39;
Nasa unveiled a stunning image of the earth last week, occupied by the $ 1.5 billion (£ 1.1 billion) Parker Solar Probe on its historic journey to the sun.
The photo, which is cut off about 43 million kilometers from our planet, shows the earth as a bright round spot surrounded by thousands of stars scattered across our corner of the galaxy.
The Parker Solar Probe (PSP) is on a mission to 'touch the sun & # 39; and will be the first spacecraft to fly through the outer part of the star's atmosphere, also called the corona.
The probe was launched on August 12 and will arrive at its destination in November, but before that, Venus, using the gravity of the planet to align its course, passes a maneuver known as gravity aid.
In a statement on the new photo, Nasa said: & # 39; On September 25, 2018 Parker Solar Probe captured an image of the earth as it was on its way to the first Venus gravity assistance of the mission.
& # 39; The Earth is the bright, round object that is visible on the right side of this image, made by the Wide-field Imager for Solar Probe (WISPR) instrument from Parker Solar Probe.
The elongated mark to the bottom of the panel is a lens reflection of the WISPR instrument. & # 39;
The WISPR instrument of the probe is designed to visualize the structure of the corona of the sun as the spacecraft approaches the next month.
HOW WILL THE PARK SOLAR-PROBE COME SO CLOSE TO THE SUN?
The mission of the Parker Solar Probe requires 55 times more energy than would be necessary to reach Mars, according to NASA.
It launched a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy, one of the most powerful missiles in the world, with a third phase as an attachment.
But the trajectory and speed are crucial to get in the right job.
While the earth, and everything on it, travels around 67,000 miles per hour in a direction that is sideways towards the sun, there must be speed to defeat the sideways movement, NASA explains.
The Parker probe goes past the sun, so it will have to remove about 53,000 miles per hour, according to the space agency.
This requires a boost from the powerful Delta IV rocket, and different gravity helps Venus to slow it down.
The probe will rely on a series of gravity assistants from Venus to slow down the sideways movement, making it just 3.8 million miles from the surface of the sun.
In this case, instead of speeding up the spacecraft, as in a typical gravity support, Venus slows its sideways movement so that the spacecraft can get closer to the sun, "NASA explains.
When it finally comes closer, the Parker Solar Probe will have lost much of its lateral speed, but has gained a lot of speed thanks to the gravity of the sun.
Parker Solar Probe will race past the sun with 430,000 miles per hour. & # 39;
With the nearest approach, it will be only 3.8 million miles from the sun's surface, making it the only spacecraft ever to be so close.
The mission of PSP is due to the last seven years, with the probe set to fly up to 3.8 million miles (6.1 million km) from the surface of the sun – seven times closer than any spacecraft before.
The average distance between the sun and the earth is 93 million miles (150 million km).
It is hoped that PSP can help scientists better understand solar flares – short bursts of intense high-energy radiation from the surface of the sun that can disable communication on Earth.
The spacecraft will face extreme heat and radiation and will reach speeds of up to 430,000 miles per hour (700,000 km / h) at its closest flyby.
The set contains a white-light imager called Whisper, which will make images of sun waves while the vessel is traveling through it at high speed.
To the & # 39; bulkplasma & # 39; of solar winds – measured by NASA as the bread & butter & # 39; of the flares – a range of magnetic imaging equipment will also be stored on board.