An American probe has passed its first flight through the sun well. The systems onboard the Parker Solar Probe have survived the extreme heat and radiation and work as it should. American space agency NASA report on today’s news.
The Parker Solar Probe was launched in August and will run oval orbits around the sun for the next seven years. The first dive started last week, and last Monday the Parker came to 24 million kilometres from the sun. Never before has a probe come so close to our star.
The Parker achieved a record speed of over 343,000 kilometres per hour. Both records will be improving later on. Because in 2024 the Parker will reach a speed of more than 692,000 kilometres per hour. And will approach up to 6 million kilometres from the sun.
The probe now flies away from the sun and performs its second dive in April. During the dive on Monday, the Parker is exposed to temperatures of more than 400 degrees Celsius. That rises to almost 1,400 degrees with the next dives. However, by means of cooling the measuring instruments on board remain at room temperature.
The Parker does research into the solar wind, the stream of charged particles that constantly fires the sun. The concept was devised by the now 91-year-old scientist Eugene N. Parker, after whom the probe is named.