Yesterday, it surpassed the record of 26.6 million miles (43 million kilometers) from the sun set by Helios-2 back in 1976.
In addition, in the coming days, the probe should set another record, becoming the fastest ship in the history of space exploration. NASA employees expect that he will beat his own record and will eventually fly up to the Sun at a distance of 6.16 million kilometres in 2024. After that, the probe will burn up in the sunlight.
The probe has been launched this August, so it's awesome how fast it flies to the Sun.
"We've been studying the Sun for decades, and now we're finally going to go where the action is", Alex Young, associate director for science in the Heliophysics Science Division at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, said ahead of the probe's launch in August. Such was the record at the device Helios 2 in 1976. Dries man also said that it is a very proud moment for the whole team, but they are focused on their first solar encounter on October 31.
It will keep getting closer to the sun until it flies through the corona, or outer atmosphere, for the first time next week, passing within 15 million miles of the solar surface. On 31 October, Parker will encounter the Sun for the first time and reach the first perihelion on 5-6 November (10:28 pm EST/3:28 am UTC).
Parker Solar Probe is also expected to break the record for fastest spacecraft traveling relative to the Sun on October 29 at about 10:54 p.m. EDT.
The Sun-bound mission is expected to last around seven years, during which the probe will orbit the planet Venus to get closer to the Sun. The probe is now in the process of aligning itself into an elliptical orbit that will enable studies of the solar wind near its source.
The spacecraft sports a special carbon-composite shield to protect itself and its instruments from intense heat and radiation during its close flybys.
The craft will seek to unlock some of mysteries about our Sun's behavior by sampling the corona, the birthplace of solar flares and other violent events, and get a better understanding of how solar winds are formed.