This is much closer than any other spacecraft has gone (the previous record was set by Helios Bin 1976 and broken by Parker on October 29), and this maneuver has exposed the shuttle to intense heat and solar radiation in a complex cosmic wind environment. , NASA said in a statement on Thursday.
November 5, the spacecraft made the close approach, called perihelion. Parker’s solar probe reached a maximum speed of 213,200 miles per hour, setting a new record for the speed of the spacecraft.
At this distance, intense sunlight heated the side of the Probe thermal protector, facing the sun, called the Thermal Protection System, at approximately 820 degrees Fahrenheit.
This temperature will rise to 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit as the spacecraft moves closer to the Sun, NASA said.
“Parker Solar Probe was designed take care of itself and its valuable payload during this close approach, without any control of us on Earth, and now we know it was successful,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, Associate Administrator of the Bureau of Scientific Missions from NASA in Washington.
On November 7, mission controllers at the Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University received the spacecraft’s state beacon at 4:46 p.m. (ITS T).
The beacon indicated status “A”: the best of the four possible status signals, which means that Parker Solar Probe is working well with all the instruments executing and collecting scientific data and, if there were minor problems, the spacecraft solved them in an autonomous way.
“Parker is the culmination of 6 decades of scientific progress, and now we have made humanity’s first visit to our star, which will have implications not only here on Earth, but also for a deeper understanding of our universe.” Zurbuchen.
The first solar gathering phase of Parker Solar Probe began on October 31, and the ship will continue to collect scientific data until the end of the solar encounter phase on November 11. There will be several weeks after the end of the solar encounter phase before the experimental data begins. Downlinking to the ground.
spacecraft will repeat break its own speed record when its orbit moves closer to the star and the spacecraft moves faster and faster in perihelion, NASA said.