Parker Solar Probe Is Officially The Closest Spacecraft To The Sun

Illustration of NASA's Parker Solar Probe approaching the sun.

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe — the world’s first mission to “touch” the sun — has ventured closer to the sun than any other man-made object before it, NASA announced earlier this week.

The spacecraft officially broke the world record for closest approach to the sun on October 29, at about 1:04 p.m. EDT. At the time, the Parker Solar Probe got closer than 26.55 million miles (42.7 million kilometers) from the sun’s surface.

As the Inquisitr previously reported, up until now the record belonged to the German-American Helios 2 mission — which managed to come as close as 26.98 million miles (43.4 million kilometers) to our star on April 17, 1976.

“It’s been just 78 days since Parker Solar Probe launched, and we’ve now come closer to our star than any other spacecraft in history,” said Andy Driesman, who manages the project at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland. “It’s a proud moment for the team, though we remain focused on our first solar encounter.”

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