NASA’s Parker probe approaches the Sun at record speed. On its 10th approach flight, the spacecraft managed to become the fastest man-made object in the world.
At its closest approach, the probe reached a speed of 587,000 kilometers per hour. However, this can be exceeded, as it is expected to reach 692,000 km / h in 2024.
The speed recorded by Parker is equivalent to traveling 163 kilometers per second, which is the same as going from London to New York in 34 seconds.
The Parker probe is named after Eugene Parker, a 94-year-old scientist who discovered solar winds in the 1950s. This device aims to explore the Sun’s corona, which is the layer of plasma that surrounds it.
While NASA claims that Parker will “touch” the Sun, it will actually get closer to 6.16 million kilometers, which is still close when you consider that it is almost 150 million kilometers from our planet.
To make this possible, the probe has been built with a special technology that will allow it to withstand 500 times more radiation than Earth and temperatures that exceed 1,370 degrees Celsius.
Inside the ship, the instruments are protected with an 11-centimeter thick layer of insulating carbonic material.
As it approaches the Sun, the Parker probe will send increasingly precise information using a protocol known as Delay / Disruption Tolerant Networking.