NASA’s Parker Solar Probe satellite is on its way to Venus and is rightly achieving its mission objectives. The satellite is likely to reach Venus by October 3 and will use the planet’s gravity to slingshot towards the sun, its eventual destination according to the new statement released by NASA. The Parker Solar Probe will come within 24.1 million kilometres radius of the sun. Earlier, Helios 2 mission in 1976 achieved 43.4 million kilometres radius.
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The probe is named after US physicist Eugene Parker, whose early theory of solar winds – supersonic particles being shot out of the sun in all directions – were confirmed by the first space missions after World War II. Parker, now 91 also travelled to NASA ‘s Kennedy Space Centre in Florida to attend the launch of his namesake satellite. The mission, which is coming at a cost of USD 1.5 billion, is aimed to study the sun, and send back scientific data to Earth on its findings.
The probe will make its closest approach to sun six years after the launch. The Probe has the ability to withstand the high temperatures of being so close to the star.
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Parker Solar Probe carries the names of 1.1 million people on a memory card mounted on a plaque on the satellite, along with images of Eugene Parker.