NASA probe gets closer to the sun, breaks record

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In addition, in the coming days, the probe should set another record, becoming the fastest ship in the history of space exploration.

The spaceship is "expected to break the record for fastest spacecraft traveling relative to the Sun on October 29 at about 10:54 pm EDT (Tuesday 0254 GMT)", NASA said. In the final flyby in 2015, Parker Solar Probe will cruise at the closest 3.83 million miles from the sun's surface.

Not content with just being the closest ever probe to the Sun, NASA expected the spacecraft to break a speed record on Tuesday night as well. Prior to this, in April 1976, the German-American Helios made the record for cruising closest to the Sun at 26.55 million miles.

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These observations will add key knowledge to NASA's efforts to understand the Sun, where changing conditions can propagate out into the solar system, affecting Earth and other worlds, it said.

Later today, the solar probe should also break Helios 2's record for velocity relative to the Sun of 246,960 km/hour.

NASA's Parker Solar Probe has broken the world record for the closest approach to the sun ever achieved by a man-made spacecraft - and it's not stopping yet. Parker Solar Probe will start its first solar encounter on October 31.

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"It's a proud moment for the team", Project Manager Andy Driesman said, "though we remain focused on our first solar encounter, which begins on October 31." . Along with this, gaining momentum from the sun's powerful gravity, the probe will accelerate at a top speed of close to 690,000 km/hr. At perihelion it will be travelling at 95.3 km/s (343,080 km/h; 213,180 mph) around 24.1 million km (14.9 million miles) from the Sun's surface. However, these storms can disrupt satellites, power grids and rattle our planet's magnetic field.

The craft will seek to unlock some of mysteries about our Sun's behavior by sampling the corona, the birthplace of solar flares and other violent events, and get a better understanding of how solar winds are formed.

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