8 Amazing Things You Need to Know About NASA’s Parker Solar Probe

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The Parker Solar Probe promises to be one of the most interesting solar system exploration missions from the United States’ space agency, NASA. As of 2018, NASA and other national space agencies have probes, rovers, landers and satellites exploring extraterrestrial environments the surface of Mars to the polar regions of Jupiter, and the Parker Solar Probe, will join them to explore the atmosphere of the Sun on a nearly seven-year mission that will begin with its launch in August 2018.

1. Parker Solar Probe Will Travel Closer to the Sun Than Ever Before

The Sun is the engine of our Solar System, and, as such, humans have been interested in learning more about it since the dawn of our curiosity, but never has an object been sent so close to our closest star. The Parker Solar Probe, on its closest approach, will pass within 6.2 million kilometers (3.85 million miles) of the Sun into the Sun’s atmosphere, known as the ‘Corona.’

That might seem pretty far, but it will shatter the previous record held by the Helios 2 mission in 1976 at a distance of 43.4 million kilometers (27 million miles).

2. Parker Solar Probe Will Be The Fastest Man Made Object in History

When the Parker Solar Probe is making its closest approach to the Sun, it will be moving at a speed of 700,000 kilometers per hour (430,000 miles per hour) making it the fastest object humans have ever created. According to NASA, at that speed, you could travel from Philadelphia to Washington in about one second.

The current record holder was the Helios 1 mission that hit a top speed of 228,000 kilometers per hour (142,000 miles per hour). Voyager 1, the farthest-traveled man made object, is speeding away from our Solar System at a speed of 62,137 kilometers per hour (38,610 miles per hour).

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