The spacecraft daringly approached within 8.5 million kilometers of the solar surface, hurtling at a breakneck speed of 586,782 kilometers per hour.
NASA’s Parker Solar Probe, a pioneering spacecraft venturing closer to the Sun than ever before, celebrated a remarkable milestone on June 27: its 16th successful orbit around our blazing star. On June 22, during a phase referred to as perihelion, the spacecraft daringly approached within 8.5 million kilometers of the solar surface, hurtling at a breakneck speed of 586,782 kilometers per hour.
Safe Flyby and Next Steps
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
NASA confirms the spacecraft emerged hale and hearty from this close solar encounter, functioning normally as it continues its ambitious journey. In the cards for Parker is its sixth rendezvous with Venus slated for August 21. The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) mission team has been gearing up for a seamless trajectory, executing a small course correction maneuver on June 7, marking the first-course change since March 2022. This flyby forms the sixth of seven planned Venusian encounters during Parker’s primary mission.
Spacecraft Approaches Solar Surface
Capitalizing on Venus’ gravitational pull, Parker aims to tighten its orbit around the Sun, setting up a future perihelion a mere 7.2 million kilometers from the solar surface. As our star grows progressively more active. This close approach is set to provide invaluable insights into heliophysics. Parker’s ultimate objective is to scrutinize and track the outer solar corona and the Sun’s behavior. This contributes to our expanding understanding of our star.
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