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Parker Solar Probe | Fastest man made object in the world

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Video source: SciNews

Parker Solar Probe | Fastest man made object in the world (Feb 2020): Parker solar probe is a spacecraft launched by NASA on Aug 12, 2018, with a mission to touch the sun. It is the successor of Helios 2 with better technology. The Launch Site and the Launch Vehicle were Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and Florida Delta IV-Heavy with Upper Stage, respectively.

Mission

Image source: Nasa

Parker solar probe is launched to investigate the outer corona, i.e. outer layer of the sun, firmly and repeatedly. It was named after the name of scientist Eugene Parker. The cost of the project is US$1.5 billion. Its mission is to examine the Corona, formation of the solar wind and magnetic field. Sun emits harmful radiations with different wavelengths. Although the sun is 150 million kilometres away from earth, these radiations cause harm to us. So, the mission is also to study these radiations.

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NASA believes that it will get all information and make out all observations before it will melt. Let’s know more about it. The following questions must have stuck in your minds.

Present records set by Parker solar probe

Parker probe is the first and only spacecraft after Helios 2 to travel sun. Before there was no such spacecraft invented. It can resist the large amount of heat and temperatures which any other spacecraft could not.

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It is not only a unique invention but also the fastest man made object in the world which can reach a maximum and massive speed of 430,000 miles per hour. The current fastest speed recorded by is 343,181 kph on November 6, 2018.

The closest approach from the sun’s surface was recorded as 24,122,594 km on 6 November 2018.

All the above information was got during the two solar encounters held between October 31, 2018, and November 12, 2018, and March 30, 2019, and April 19, 2019, respectively.

The next solar encounter will take place on January 23, 2020, at 14:00 UTC.

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Where is Parker Solar Probe?

Image source – Google | Image by NASA

You can see the live location of parker probe from the following link: http://parkersolarprobe.jhuapl.edu/The-Mission/index.php#Where-Is-PSP

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How long will it take to reach the sun?

The duration of the mission is seven years. It will reach 60 lakh kilometres (6 million km) away from the sun in seven years. The Parker solar probe will orbit 24 times around the sun’s outer layer, i.e., in seven years.

It will reach the sun or complete its last orbit on June 19, 2025 (Perihelion #24). It comes closer to the sun every year.

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How does Parker solar probe survive being near the sun?

Image source – Google | Image by PA GRAPHICS

A 4.5-inch broad carbon-composite shield that reflects the heat off the front and protects the Parker probe. This shield protects it from harmful radiations and extreme temperatures emitted from the sun. This shield can resist the intense heat and protect it from high temperatures of up to 1377 degree Celsius.

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Timeline

Image source – Google | Image by NASA
YearDateEvent
2015MarchCritical Design Review
2016July 1Start of Integration and test
2016July 7Successfully passed KDP-D
2017MarchInstrument Deliveries
2017AugustObservatory System Testing
2017End of 2017Shipment of Observatory to GSFC
2018Spring 2018Shipment of Observatory to Cape Canaveral
2018August 12, 7:31 UTC Launch
2018October 3, 8:44 UTCVenus Flyby #1
2018November 5, 03:27 UTCPerihelion #1
2019January 19Aphelion #1
2019January 20The second Orbit Begins
2019April 4, 22:40 UTCPerihelion #2
2019September 1, 17:50 UTCPerihelion #3
2019December 26, 18:14 UTCVenus Flyby #2
2020January 19Perihelion #4
2020June 7Perihelion #5
2020July 11Venus Flyby #3
2020September 27Perihelion #6
2021January 17Perihelion #7
2021February 20Venus Flyby #4
2021April 29Perihelion #8
2021August 9Perihelion #9
2021October 16Venus Flyby #5
2021November 21Perihelion #10
2022February 25Perihelion #11
2022June 1Perihelion #12
2022September 6Perihelion #13
2022December 11Perihelion #14
2023March 17Perihelion #15
2023June 22Perihelion #16
2023August 21Venus Flyby #6
2023September 27Perihelion #17
2023December 29Perihelion #18
2024March 30Perihelion #19
2024June 30Perihelion #20
2024September 30Perihelion #21
2024November 6Venus Flyby #7
2024December 24Perihelion #22
2025March 22Perihelion #23
2025June 19Perihelion #24

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Parker Solar Probe | Fastest man made object in the world

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  • Looking at the title of this post (and the image itself - WOW!). I could only think of one thing (“...faster than a speeding bullet” - it’s the opening to the old “Superman” tv show.

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