In August 2018, a special mission to study the sun took off from Space Launch Complex-37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Called Parker Solar Probe, it is also the fastest human-made object, capable of reaching a speed of 430,000 mph (692,000 km / h).
During the 7-year mission duration, Parker will make seven flights on Venus, and 24 total passes by the sun. At the end of last month, it had just succeeded its fourth encounter with Venus, overtaking the planet at 54,000 mph (86,900 kilometers per hour). He did so while it was only 1,482 miles (2,385 km) from the planet’s surface, which is reason enough for the team running Parker to celebrate. They did this by releasing Incredible image The probe captured Venus from 7,693 miles (12,380 km), during a similar exercise conducted in the summer of last year – you can see it as the main image of this fragment.
The Venusian race this February put Parker on its way to the close to the sun’s eighth and ninth lanes, scheduled for late April and early August, respectively. The probe closes the distance to the sun every time it passes by, this time shedding 1.9 million miles (3 million kilometers) from the previous record, approaching 6.5 million miles (10.4 million kilometers) from the surface of the sun.
The people behind the probe are scientists from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, and the probe is part of NASA agency Living with the Star Program (LWS), it aims to explore aspects of the Sun-Earth System that directly affect Life and Society.