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Parker Solar Probe completes 16th close approach to the Sun
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Parker Solar Probe completes 16th close approach to the Sun
by Brad Bartz
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Jul 04, 2023

In the midst of space exploration advancements, NASA's Parker Solar Probe has successfully completed its 16th orbit of the Sun on June 27, 2023, furthering our understanding of the Sun-Earth system and its implications for life and society.

During this orbit, the spacecraft executed a close approach or perihelion on June 22, 2023, approaching within a distance of 5.3 million miles from the solar surface. Throughout this high-speed venture, moving at a speed of 364,610 miles per hour, the spacecraft maintained its health and standard operating conditions.

Notably, the Parker Solar Probe is on track for another significant event. On Aug. 21, 2023, the probe is scheduled to perform its sixth flyby of Venus. The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) team, responsible for managing the mission, had implemented a minor trajectory correction maneuver on June 7, 2023, to ensure a smooth course. This was the first course correction since March 2022.

This upcoming Venus flyby is the sixth of seven planned throughout the course of the Parker Solar Probe's primary mission. This particular approach plays a critical role as the gravity of Venus is used to tighten the probe's orbit around the Sun, facilitating a future perihelion at just 4.5 million miles from the solar surface. With the Sun's activity on the rise, such an approach could yield valuable insights for the field of heliophysics.

The Parker Solar Probe is a part of NASA's Living With a Star program, an initiative aimed at exploring components of the Sun-Earth system that bear a direct impact on life and societal development. The Goddard Space Flight Center, located in Greenbelt, Maryland, oversees the Living With a Star program on behalf of NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. APL not only designed and built the spacecraft but also manages the ongoing mission for NASA.

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Parker Solar Probe
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