Relatively unharmed, the NASA Parker Solar Probe will now prepare for its next mission, where it will get even closer to the sun
NASA’s Parker Solar Probe has just successfully completed its 16th orbit around the sun, one of which was record breakingly close to the sun. During the close approach orbit, the Parker Solar Probe was around 8.5 million kilometers away from the sun’s surface and was flying at over 586,782 kilometers per hour.
According to NASA, the spacecraft seemed to be working perfectly during its close range sun orbit and is relatively unharmed.
What can come within 5.3 million miles of the solar surface while moving at 364,610 miles per hour? It's the Parker Solar Probe! It achieved its latest solar flyby on June 22.
— NASA Sun & Space (@NASASun) July 3, 2023
Launched at Cape Canaveral in Florida, 2018, the Parker Solar Probe is designed to be about the size of a car and is termed as humanity’s first ever mission that “visited” a star and also the first one that can travel directly through the Sun’s atmosphere.
What makes the Parker Solar Probe so resilient against the sun’s heat and radiation is a 4.5-inch thick carbon composite shield, which is designed to withstand temperatures of around 1,777 degrees Celsius.
Parker was launched by NASA inorder to trace the way energy and heat move through the corona, while also exploring the acceleration of solar winds and solar energetic particles and the reasons behind them.
Utilizing Venus’s gravity to tighten its orbit around the sun, the Parker Solar Probe consists of four instrument suites, each with their respective purpose, which is to; study magnetic fields, plasma and energetic particles and image the solar wind.
Completing this successful mission, the Parker Solar Probe is now being prepared to get within around 7.2 million kilometers of the Sun’s surface.