(RepublicanPress.org) – In 2018, NASA launched the Parker Solar Probe into space on a mission to touch the Sun. On November 21, while making its 10th journey around our galaxy’s star, the spacecraft reached a record-breaking speed of 101 miles per second, with a boost from nearby Venus. It also flew closer to the Sun than ever before, just 5.3 million miles away. By the time the probe completes its 24 scheduled orbits in 2024, it’s expected to come within 3.8 million miles of the Sun’s surface and travel at a tremendous speed of about 119.45 miles per second.
For perspective, NASA stated those speeds would be equivalent to traveling from Philadelphia to Washington DC in only one second. The probe’s essential heat shield will see temperatures reaching 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit on its final pass.
The fastest object ever made by humans is about to speed up. 🚀
On Nov. 21, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe will make its 10th close pass of the Sun, flying closer than ever before and reaching top speeds of 364,621 mph.
— NASA Goddard (@NASAGoddard) November 14, 2021
Although the spacecraft’s primary mission was not analyzing space dust, NASA is finding “higher than expected” amounts near our life-giving heat source. That discovery is giving the US insight into the previously mysterious environment around the Sun. The probe’s primary goal is to fly through the Sun’s atmosphere, or corona, and use its various instruments to gain helpful information about the origin and evolution of solar wind.
Understanding the Sun’s corona will assist experts in developing systems to forecast changes in space events that affect life and technology on our planet. The more NASA learns about space weather and how to predict it, the better scientists can protect the Earth. It also gets us closer to defining how our home came to be.
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