NASA’s Parker Solar Probe has gone faster than any spacecraft ever

An artist’s impression of the Parker Solar Probe

NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Steve Gribben

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 speed reached.

On 29 April, the probe made its closest pass yet to the sun, a little more than 10 million kilometres from its surface. During the time of closest approach, it was travelling at about 150 kilometres per second relative to the sun, the fastest any spacecraft has ever moved.

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