NASA’S PARKER SPACE­CRAFT MAKES 1ST CLOSE AP­PROACH TO SUN

Apple Magazine - - Summary -

A NASA space­craft has made its first close ap­proach to the sun, just 2 1/2 months af­ter liftoff.

The Parker So­lar Probe flew within 15 mil­lion miles (24 mil­lion kilo­me­ters) of the sun’s sur­face Mon­day night. Its speed topped 213,000 mph (342,000 kph) rel­a­tive to the sun, as it pen­e­trated the outer so­lar at­mos­phere, or corona.

No space­craft has ever got­ten so close to our star.

NASA won’t re-es­tab­lish con­tact un­til Parker is far enough from the sun to avoid ra­dio in­ter­fer­ence. NASA’s Nicola Fox says sci­en­tists “can’t wait to get the data.”The ob­ser­va­tions could un­lock some of the sun’s mys­ter­ies.

As­sum­ing it sur­vives the harsh so­lar en­vi­ron­ment, the space­craft will make 23 even closer ap­proaches over the next seven years. The next is in April.

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