His journey began in 2018, with the aim of getting closer to the Sun – reaching the solar corona – to allow us to study it better. Parker Solar Probe, the NASA probe, puts one behind the new stage of its mission accomplishing is its 10 ° progressive approach to the star, and it does so at record speed.
The peak speed reached by traveling through the planned orbit was in fact 584.864 km / h (data recorded November 21 at 4:25 am EST). This means that it could have covered the distance that separates the Earth from the Moon in less than an hour, just to give an idea of the proportions. With this further approach, Parker Solar Probe is now 8.5 million kilometers away from the solar surface.
Right there extreme speed reached by the probe, however, had generated some fears about one earlier this month possible threat to the integrity of the vehicle: the collision with the tiny particles of dust present in space causes in fact small and continuous explosions of plasma that are damaging the probe and could compromise its integrity or its ability to orient itself and carry out its mission as intended. However, there is a positive aspect: although the phenomenon is inevitable, it will not necessarily prove fatal, and in the meantime, it provides an opportunity for scientists to study plasma explosions and their interactions with the solar wind.
However, a few weeks later the news released by NASA is comforting, and it seems that Parker Solar Probe is proceeding swiftly according to plan. While the probe is in the vicinity of the Sun, however, it is unable to send data, which will arrive in the window that runs from 23 December 2021 to 9 January 2022.