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In Depth Parker Solar Probe - NASA Solar System Exploratio

On its final three orbits, Parker Solar Probe will fly to within 3.9 million miles (6.2 million kilometers) of the Sun's surface—more than seven times closer than the current record holder for a close solar pass: the Helios 2 spacecraft. Helios came within 27 million miles (43 million kilometers) in 1976. Parker can survive these conditions. Parker Solar Probe is named for Dr. Eugene Parker, the first person to predict the existence of the solar wind. In 1958, Parker developed a theory showing how the Sun's hot corona — by then known to be millions of degrees Fahrenheit — is so hot that it overcomes the Sun's gravity

10 Things to Know About Parker Solar Probe - NASA Solar

  1. With Parker Solar Probe's latest closest approach to the Sun in direct view of Earth, some 40 observatories around the globe and several spacecraft, including STEREO, BepiColombo, and Solar Orbiter, made simultaneous observations of activity stretching from the Sun to Earth. Distances and planet and spacecraft locations are not to scale
  2. The Parker Solar Probe (abbreviated PSP; previously Solar Probe, Solar Probe Plus or Solar Probe+) is a NASA space probe launched in 2018 with the mission of making observations of the outer corona of the Sun. It will approach to within 9.86 solar radii (6.9 million km or 4.3 million miles) from the center of the Sun, and by 2025 will travel, at closest approach, as fast as 690,000 km/h.
  3. Parker Solar Probe Instruments. Parker Solar Probe works under extreme conditions as it gathers data in the Sun's corona, grazing closer to our star than any spacecraft before. Its four instrument suites characterize the dynamic region close to the Sun by measuring particles and electric and magnetic fields, and each was specially designed to.
  4. Parker Solar Probe will swoop to within 4 million miles of the Sun's surface, facing heat and radiation like no spacecraft before it. Launched on Aug. 12, 2018, Parker Solar Probe will provide new data on solar activity and make critical contributions to our ability to forecast major space-weather events that impact life on Earth
  5. Parker Solar Probe was designed, built, and is now operated by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory as part of NASA?s Living with a Star (LWS) program (contract NNN06AA01C). Support from the LWS management and technical team has played a critical role in the success of the Parker Solar Probe mission.

Parker Solar Probe - NAS

  1. As of 11 a.m. EDT on Sept. 6, Parker Solar Probe is 16.27 million miles from Earth, traveling at 45,860 miles per hour. Author Sarah Frazier Posted on September 6, 2018 Post navigatio
  2. Parker Solar Probe live position and data. This page shows Parker Solar Probe location and other relevant astronomical data in real time. The celestial coordinates, magnitude, distances and speed are updated in real time and are computed using high quality data sets provided by the JPL Horizons ephemeris service (see acknowledgements for details)
  3. Parker Solar Probe — named for Eugene Parker, who first theorized the concept of the solar wind in the 1950s — launched in August 2018 and is on its way to completing 24 passes around the Sun, eventually moving within 4 million miles of the solar surface. During its most recent close approach to the Sun — called perihelion — Parker.
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  5. A unique model of NASA's Parker Solar Probe (PSP) is now on permanent display at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) Center for Space Plasma and Aeronomic Research (CSPAR) in the National Space Science and Technology Center (NSSTC) in Cramer Research Hall
  6. Parker Solar Probe Becomes Fastest-Ever Spacecraft. At about 10:54 p.m. EDT, Parker Solar Probe surpassed 153,454 miles per hour — as calculated by the mission team — making it the fastest-ever human-made object relative to the Sun. This breaks the record set by the German-American Helios 2 mission in April 1976

Parker Solar Probe - Wikipedi

The Parker Solar Probe just earned the title of the fastest-moving manmade object. Launched by NASA this past August, this robotic spacecraft is currently very, very near the Sun, on its way to. The Parker Solar Probe will arrive at the sun in November, spending seven years studying the star from 3.7 million miles (6 million km) away. Mercury, the closest planet to the sun, only gets as.

The Parker Solar Probe project is managed by the Heliophysics Division of NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington, D.C. All of the results we've reported so far, since Parker Solar Probe began its mission in August 2018, depict conditions of a 'quiet' Sun during the solar minimum, or its least active period, said Nour. Parker Solar Probe has shown us that there is a lot more interconnected activity near the Sun than we once thought, said Parker Solar Probe Project Scientist Nour Raouafi of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab, or APL, in Laurel, Maryland. With this closest approach visible from Earth, we have a fantastic opportunity to. The rise and set times are defined as the time at which the upper limb of Parker Solar Probe touches the horizon, consideting the effect of the atmospheric refraction.As the atmoshpere conditions cannot be modeled precisely the times reported here should be considered correct with an approximation of few minutes NASA's Parker Solar Probe observed a slow solar wind flowing out from the small coronal hole -- a long, thin black spot seen on the left side of the sun. The scientists were surprised to observe. NASA's Parker Solar Probe will be the first-ever mission to touch the sun. The spacecraft, about the size of a small car, will travel directly into the sun..

The Parker Solar Probe is expected to launch from Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, this month—its launch window opens Saturday and runs through Aug. 23. During its seven-year mission, it'll explore some of the sun's greatest mysteries: Why is the solar wind a breeze closer to the sun but supersonic torrent farther away Parker Solar Probe has made 3 flybys of the Sun within 25million km, and is due to get even closer in the next 2 months. The first major results from the pro.. Parker Solar Probe is an extraordinary and historic mission, exploring what is arguably the last region of the solar system to be visited by a spacecraft: the sun's atmosphere. Parker Solar Probe has repeatedly sampled the near-sun environment, revolutionizing our knowledge, and understanding of coronal heating and of the origin and evolution. Request PDF | On Aug 1, 2021, Y. Y. Liu and others published Characteristics of Interplanetary Discontinuities in the Inner Heliosphere Revealed by Parker Solar Probe | Find, read and cite all the. The Solar Wind Electrons Alphas and Protons (SWEAP) investigation is the set of instruments on the Parker Solar Probe (PSP) spacecraft that will directly measure the properties of the plasma in the solar atmosphere. SWEAP includes two types of instruments: the Solar Probe Cup (SPC) and Solar Probe Analyzers (SPAN).SWEAP has a total of four sensors and is designed to take measurements of the.

The Parker Solar Probe is on a mission to study the sun, but it keeps revealing more about mysterious planetary neighbor Venus. During a July 2020 flyby, the spacecraft picked up a radio signal. Scientists using data from NASA's Parker Solar Probe released a new collection of research papers in a special issue of the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics on June 2. The issue, titled Parker Solar Probe: Ushering a New Frontier in Space Exploration, includes 37 papers on discoveries made during mission's first four orbits around the Sun A RUGGED Nasa probe has soared across space and touched the Sun in a truly astronomical feat. The 300,000mph Parker Solar Probe will get even closer - and is officially the fastest man-made object ever created. 3. Nasa's Parker Solar Probe is hurtling past the Sun at 300,000mph Credit: Nasa / JPL. There are many different ways to touch. The approach took the probe to within 6.5 million miles (10.4 million km) of the Sun's surface. This, too marks another record, besting the Parker Solar Probe's approach of 8.4 million miles (13.5.

Parker Solar Probe observed switchbacks—traveling disturbances in the solar wind that caused the magnetic field to bend back on itself—an as-yet unexplained phenomenon that might help scientists uncover more information about how the solar wind is accelerated from the sun Parker is currently about 36 solar radii away from the sun. Eventually, Howard said, the probe will actually reach the proposed dust-free zone. Parker also revealed how smooth the boundary between.

Video: Parker Solar Probe Instruments NAS

Parker Solar Probe will swoop to within four million miles of the Sun's surface, facing heat and radiation like no spacecraft before it. Launching in 2018, Parker Solar Probe will provide new data on solar activity and make critical contributions to our ability to forecast major space-weather events that impact life on Earth Parker Solar Probe launched in August 2018 for a seven-year mission that is targeting the constant stream of highly charged plasma leaving the sun, called the solar wind, and the star's outer. Parker Solar Probe (PSP) will be the first spacecraft designed to fly deep within the Sun's lower corona and also becoming the fastest spacecraft flown. Launch is scheduled for next year, with a 20-day launch period beginning on 31 July 2018. PSP will be on a ballistic trajectory, requiring seven Venus flybys to progressively lower the perihelion over the seven-year mission The Parker Solar Probe is designed to orbit the Sun, making numerous close approaches, in order to trace the flow of energy, study the heating of the solar corona, and explore the acceleration of the solar wind. The detailed science objectives are: 1) trace the flow of energy that heats and accelerates the solar corona; 2) determine the.

Parker Solar Probe

The Parker Solar Probe has been getting in a lot of extracurricular activity lately. Originally designed to observe the Sun, the probe has been taking full advantage of its path through the solar. There are 5 major discoveries the Parker Solar Probe made on the Sun. Parker's discoveries include evidence for a dust-free zone around the Sun, hearing the.

The Parker Solar Probe is no stranger to the sun. On January 17, the NASA spacecraft will make its seventh close pass of our star, coming within 14 million kilometers of its scorching surface For the first time, Parker Solar Probe observed the solar wind while it was still rotating. Parker Solar Probe's solar wind instrument detected rotation starting more than 20 million miles from the sun, and as the probe approached, the speed of the rotation increased. The strength of the circulation was stronger than scientists had predicted The $1.5 billion Parker Solar Probe launched in August 2018, on a mission to help researchers better understand how the sun ticks.If all goes according to plan, the spacecraft will make a total of. NASA's Parker Solar Probe Launch date: 2:31 a.m. CDT Aug. 12, 2018 About the probe: The size of a small car, the probe will travel about 4 million miles from the sun's surface. Name recognition: The mission is named for Prof. Emeritus Eugene Parker, in honor of his pioneering research on the sun. This is the fifth NASA mission named after a. NASA's Parker Solar Probe (which is about the size of a large car) launched Aug. 12, 2018. It has since completed two full orbits of the sun, zipping within 15 million miles (24 million kilometers.

Parker Solar Probe Distance from Earth. The distance of Parker Solar Probe from Earth is currently 112,147,509 kilometers, equivalent to 0.749660 Astronomical Units . Light takes 6 minutes and 14.0838 seconds to travel from Parker Solar Probe and arrive to us The Parker Solar Probe's mission upon arrival at the nearest point to the sun will be to: To probe the sun's coronal plasma and magnetic fields. Asses the sun's corona and solar winds. Timeline of the mission. Launching in August 2018, it will take 1 month to get to Venus Parker Solar Probe. 9,716 likes · 8 talking about this. The official page of NASA's Solar Probe Plus mission, which will for the first time fly into the Sun's atmosphere (or corona)

Parker Solar Probe just conducted its fourth flyby of Venus on February 20, passing 1,482 miles from the planet's surface, so the team planned another set of observations of the Venusian nightside When flying past Venus in July 2020, Parker Solar Probe's WISPR instrument, short for Wide-field Imager for Parker Solar Probe, detected a bright rim around the edge of the planet that may be.

NASA's Parker Solar Probe launched a year ago on a mission to touch the sun. Since that fiery early morning liftoff with the mission's namesake, Eugene Parker, in attendance, the probe has made. Update: After an initial delay, the Parker Solar Probe successfully launched at 3:31am EST, Sunday August 12th.. Early Saturday morning, the skies above Cape Canaveral will light up with the. NASA's Parker Solar Probe safely zipped by the sun this week, collecting information about the star's corona, solar wind, and magnetic field. This is the third time since the probe's 2018. The Parker Solar Probe (PSP) is an exciting mission of exploration and discovery, a journey to the Sun itself. By flying into the Sun's outer atmosphere—called the corona—the Parker Solar Probe will gather data on the processes that heat the corona and accelerate the solar wind—solving two fundamental mysteries that have been top. In August 2018, NASA 's Parker Solar Probe launched to space, soon becoming the closest-ever spacecraft to the Sun. With cutting-edge scientific instruments to measure the environment around the spacecraft, Parker Solar Probe has completed three of 24 planned passes through never-before-explored parts of the Sun's atmosphere, the corona

Since launching in 2018, Parker Solar Probe—built and operated by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, which also leads the mission for NASA—has flown to within about 11.6 million miles of the Sun's surface. On each of Parker's orbits around the sun, the spacecraft collided with thousands of grains of dust Last year, Dr. Parker got a phone call from Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA's associate administrator for the science directorate, saying that NASA wanted change the name to Parker Solar Probe The Parker Solar Probe's path around the Sun is an ever decreasing spiral, one that will take the vehicle even closer to the center of the Solar System in the years ahead. The spacecraft swings.

Parker Solar Probe Science Gateway Parker Solar Probe

The Parker Solar Probe is expected to launch from Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, this month—its launch window opens Saturday and runs through Aug. 23. During its seven-year. Parker Solar Probe is the only spacecraft to be named after a living person: Eugene Parker, who had first hypothesized about the existence of solar wind sixty years ago. NASA's Parker Solar Probe launching from Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida on Aug. 12, 2018. Image Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Where's Parker Solar Probe? Track the Spacecraft Online

Parker Solar Probe, or Parker for short, will eventually swoop within an eighth of the distance between the Sun and Mercury to perform a direct survey of the corona, the Sun's outermost region. It has 4 science instruments that collect data from behind a heat shield that keeps the spacecraft operating at room temperature Night, not only because NASA's Parker Solar Probe's (PSP) launch window to its planned orbit occurred, in part, at night, but also because most PSP instruments will operate in the shadow of its shield -- in effect creating its own perpetual night near the Sun Parker Solar Probe has three detailed science objectives: Trace the flow of energy that heats and accelerates the solar corona and solar wind. Determine the structure and dynamics of the plasma and magnetic fields at the sources of the solar wind. Explore mechanisms that accelerate and transport energetic particles Though Parker Solar Probe's focus is the Sun, Venus plays a critical role in the mission: The spacecraft whips by Venus a total of seven times over the course of its seven-year mission, using the. With the Parker Solar Probe, scientists hope to learn more about the sun's turbulent corona. How it accelerates particles, and how it flings huge clouds of fiery gas outward across space

The Parker probe uses the gravitational pull of planets to bend its path through the Solar System. Recorded on July 11, 2020, a fascinating new image of Venus was taken during the third of Parker's seven planned encounters with the Sun. This photo was recorded by the Wide-field Imager for Parker Solar Probe (WISPR) from a distance of 12,380. Parker Solar Probe launched on August 12, 2018 and has so far completed one of 24 close orbits of our Sun to explore the origins of the solar wind and the physics of the solar atmosphere, called the corona. APL designed, built, and operates the mission for NASA. Hill joined the Parker Solar Probe team in 2012 as deputy project manager for. The Parker Solar Probe observed a slow solar wind flowing out from the small coronal hole — the long, thin black spot seen on the left side of the sun in this image captured by NASA's Solar. The Parker Solar Probe cooling system has several components: a heated accumulator tank that will hold the water during launch (If water was in the system, it would freeze, Lockwood said); two.

Parker Solar Probe Position Tracker Live TheSkyLive

NASA has revealed a stunning photo of Venus taken by its Parker Solar Probe from 7,693 miles away.. The image, taken July 11 last year, is an almost eerie black and white shot of the planet's. Parker Solar Probe. Parker Solar Probe will be the first spacecraft to fly within 9 solar radii of the Sun's surface, directly studying the outer solar corona and acceleration region of the solar wind Parker Solar Probe. Released on August 7, 2018. Download Options . 3479x3230 jpeg (2.1 MB) 1024x950 jpeg (474.0 KB) Right click images to download them if they automatically display in your browser. Specifications on the Parker Solar Probe mission and its science questions. Related The Parker Solar Probe Mission. For information about the mission, see the Parker Solar Probe (PSP) mission site at JHU/APL. In addition to FIELDS, there are three other instruments on PSP: Integrated Science Investigation of the sun (IS ☉ IS) Solar Wind Electrons Alphas and Protons (SWEAP) Investigation. Wide-field Imager for Solar PRobe (WISPR PSP/FIELDS survey data from solar encounter 3 was released on 2020 February 10. Parker Solar Probe/FIELDS data for the first two encounters was publicly released on 2019 November 12 at 9 AM Pacific time. The Parker Solar Probe (PSP) spacecraft launched August 12, 2018 on a Delta IV Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral

The Parker Solar Probe (PSP) aims to explore the nascent solar wind close to the Sun. Meanwhile, PSP is also expected to encounter small objects like comets and asteroids. In this work, we survey the ephemerides to find the chance of a recent encounter and then model the interaction between released dusty plasmas and solar wind plasmas. On 2019 September 2, a comet-like object, the 322P/Solar. This summer, NASA's Parker Solar Probe will launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This historic mission will travel almost 90 million miles, facing brutal heat and radiation, to become the first ever to touch the Sun. Now, people around the world can submit their names to be placed on a microchip to go along for the ride The Parker Solar Probe, NASA's closest eye on the Sun, was whizzing by Venus last summer for a gravity assist when it snapped a striking new image of the planet's mysterious nightside. Parker Solar Probe. June 14 at 2:07 AM ·. For its efforts to untangle the long-standing mysteries of the complex solar environment, the Parker Solar Probe team has earned the National Space Club and Foundation's Nelson P. Jackson Award, which recognizes the most outstanding contribution to aerospace in the preceding year. After nearly three. The probe also honors by name Eugene Parker, a 91-year-old solar astrophysicist who developed meaningful (but initially rejected) theories about the solar corona, solar wind and the magnetic fields between Earth and the sun. Parker is the first namesake of a mission to be alive at the time of launch, NASA said

The Parker Solar Probe is the first NASA spacecraft with a living namesake, 91-year-old Eugene Parker, who's credited with discovering the existence of the solar wind, or constant flow of charged. The Parker Solar Probe will get as close as 3.8 million miles from the solar surface, that almost 4% of the Sun-Earth distance (i.e., 93 million miles) and on Jan. 21, the spacecraft transmitted a tone one, indicating all systems were healthy and operating normally after the spacecraft's close approach to the Sun and heading into the. Parker Solar Probe - former SPP (Solar Probe Plus) Spacecraft Mission. Spacecraft Launch Mission Status Sensor Complement References . The Solar Probe Plus mission is part of NASA's LWS (Living With a Star) Program. The program is designed to understand aspects of the sun and Earth's space environment that affect life and society

T he Parker Solar Probe captured an absolutely stunning glimpse of Venus during its third close flyby of the planet in July 2020, as seen in a newly released image from NASA and the mission's science team. Although the Sun is the focus of the Parker Solar Probe's seven-year-long mission to touch the Sun and fly through the solar. NASA's Parker Solar Probe mission has returned unprecedented data from near the Sun, culminating in new discoveries published on Dec. 4, 2019, in the journal Nature . Among the findings are new understandings of how the Sun's constant outflow of material, the solar wind, behaves. Seen near Earth — where it can interact with our planet's natural magnetic field and cause space weather effects.

Parker Solar Probe:: Parker Solar Probe Team Earns

NASA's Parker Solar Probe is continuing to shed light on Venus despite its focus on the Sun. According to Futurism, the spacecraft detected a natural radio signal revealing that it skirted Venus. Using data from NASA's Parker Solar Probe, a team of solar physicists calculated the distribution of electrons within the electric field of the Sun; from the electrons' distribution, the. The Parker Solar Probe, named after MSU alumnus Eugene Parker, holds the record for the closest approach to the Sun of any artificial object. The probe is protected by a flat heat shield with a surface area of approximately 16 m2

The Parker Solar Probe - Smarter Every Day 198 - YouTub

NASA's Parker Solar Probe just detected something fascinating just above Venus The accidental brush with Venus' upper atmosphere was the first direct measurement in nearly 30 years — and could. During a brief swing by Venus, NASA 's Parker Solar Probe detected a natural radio signal that revealed the spacecraft had flown through the planet's upper atmosphere. This was the first direct measurement of the Venusian atmosphere in nearly 30 years — and it looks quite different from Venus past The Crossword Solver found 20 answers to the Like the Parker Solar Probe's exterior crossword clue. The Crossword Solver finds answers to American-style crosswords, British-style crosswords, general knowledge crosswords and cryptic crossword puzzles. Enter the answer length or the answer pattern to get better results. Click the answer to find similar crossword clues The Parker Solar Probe will fall down into Venus' gravity well, and give orbital velocity to Venus. This will put it on a new trajectory which takes it closer to the Sun. It'll do a total of 7.

Unique alumni-crafted model of Parker Solar Probe finds

The Parker Solar Probe project involves a number of investigators and enterprises making the NASA sun probe journey a reality. In addition to NASA solar scientists, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory played a major role in the mission. In addition to creating the trajectory mapping, which involves several orbits around Venus, they also. Parker Solar Probe is part of NASA's Living With a Star program to explore aspects of the Sun-Earth system that directly affect life and society. The Living With a Star flight program is managed by the agency's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington, D.C The Parker Solar Probe, named after the astrophysicist whose curiosity inspired it, is built to fly closer to the Sun that any spacecraft in history. It is around the size of a small car and is. NASA's Parker Solar Probe. The solar probe, launched in August 2018, is built to withstand the scorching temperatures of the sun's outer atmosphere, unraveling some of the mysteries lurking within

Parker Solar Probe preview: 10 hot facts about NASA's coolParker Solar Probe Explained: NASA’s Mission to Touch the太陽に接近するNASAの探査機は、こうして溶けずに高温に耐える(動画あり) | WIRED

Parker was able to watch the launch firsthand, knowing his groundbreaking 1958 paper was aboard the probe, along with his picture and a card that reads, The Parker Solar Probe mission is dedicated to Dr. Eugene N. Parker whose profound contributions have revolutionized our understanding of the sun and solar wind Parker Solar Probe's WISPR instrument — short for Wide-field Imager for Solar Probe — is designed to study the solar wind, the Sun's constantly outflowing material. Space is teeming with dust, which reflects so much light that it typically shines at least a hundred times brighter than the solar wind

In Depth | SOHO – NASA Solar System Exploration

Parker Solar Probe Becomes Fastest-Ever Spacecraft

NASA's Parker Solar Probe is set to break a record tomorrow, becoming the closest-ever human-made object to the sun. The probe will break its own previous record, coming within 8.4 million miles. Parker Solar Probe's observations of switchbacks suggest that these events will grow even more common as the spacecraft gets closer to the sun. The mission's next solar encounter, scheduled for Jan. 29, 2020, will carry the spacecraft nearer to the sun than ever before and may shed new light on this process The Parker Solar Probe is named after solar physics pioneer Eugene Parker. The mission is expected to last through a primary mission of almost seven years, through 24 solar orbits. By 2025, Parker will be passing just 7 million km from the Sun at a speed of 430,000 mph, making it by far the fastest artificial object ever fielded by humanity Parker Solar Probe is on track for launch during a 20-day window that opens July 31, 2018. The mission is part of NASA's Living With a Star program to explore aspects of the sun-Earth system that directly affect life and society. LWS is managed by the agency's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, for NASA's Science Mission. Parker Solar Probe - Interactive Sky Chart | TheSkyLive.com. Online Planetarium. Our Online Planetarium allows to compute the coordinates of planets, comets and asteroids and visualize them in the sky with respect to stars and constellations. Select the Solar System object from the list of available objects

Así suena el viento solar captado por una sonda de la NASAThis is the Closest Picture We Have Ever Captured On theSolar Activity - The Sun Today with COverview | Venus – NASA Solar System Exploration

Observations of Venus by NASA's Parker Solar Probe, JAXA's Akatsuki mission and astronomers around the world have given a rare cloud-top-to-surface glimpse of the Earth's neighboring planet. The. NASA has decided to make a probe that can touch the Sun. It's called the Parker Solar Probe and its mission is to travel across our solar system and enter an orbit around the Sun that would put. Parker Solar Probe launched in August 2018 for a seven-year mission studying the sun by flying deeper into its outer atmosphere, called the corona, than any previous spacecraft has. When the. The Parker Solar Probe (PSP) mission (Fox et al. 2016) explores the innermost region of our solar system's zodiacal dust disk. While PSP does not carry a dedicated dust detector, its various instruments can each make direct and/or indirect measurements of the local and near-Sun dust environment NASA's Parker Solar Probe Blasts Off to the Sun] We can learn so much from our sun and particularly for other sun-like stars, Evgenya Shkolnik, an astrophysicist and planetary scientist at. The fastest spacecraft ever built has nearly touched the sun. NASA's Parker Solar Probe, which launched in 2018, has set two records at once: the closest spacecraft to the sun and the highest.