Monday , June 21 2021

NASA Parker spacecraft makes a close approach to the sun 1

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

Parker Solar Probe flies within 15 million miles (24 million kilometers) of the surface of the sun Monday night. Its speed reaches 213,000 mph (342,000 kph) relative to the sun, because it penetrates the outer sun's atmosphere, or the corona.

No spacecraft has ever been so close to our star.

NASA will not rebuild contact until Parker is far enough from the sun to avoid radio interference. Nicola Fox from NASA said scientists "can't wait to get the data." Observations can open up some of the mysteries of the sun.

Assuming it survives the harsh solar environment, the spacecraft will make 23 approaches closer to the next seven years. Next is April.

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