A groundbreaking spacecraft has also just broken a record. NASA says the Parker Solar Probe is “alive and well” after skirting by the sun at a distance of 15 million miles…closer than any other craft, including Helios B in 1976.
Springfield native Tony Case is on the Parker Solar Probe’s research and development team. He says everyone is “very excited” to see that the spacecraft has performed so well through its first solar encounter.
Mission control received the probe’s status beacon last Wednesday. It indicated all instruments were running fine and collecting data on the sun…despite the intense heat and radiation.
Case adds that over the next few weeks they’ll learn just how well their instrument performed. If all goes well, they’ll have data on solar wind measurements that has never been collected before.
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