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Fastest Spacecraft Record May Be Broken

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Old June 5th 16, 01:12 AM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
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Default Fastest Spacecraft Record May Be Broken

"Launched by NASA in 2006, it shot directly to a solar system escape velocity. This consisted of an Earth-relative launch of 16.26 kilometers a second (that’s about 36,000 miles per hour), plus a velocity component from Earth’s orbital motion (which is 30 km/s tangential to the orbital path). Altogether this set New Horizons barreling off into the solar system with an impressive heliocentric speed of almost 45 km/s or 100,000 miles per hour."

"In 2018 though, a new NASA mission – Solar Probe Plus – will be launched. Designed to come as close as 8.5 solar radii to the Sun (that’s about 5.9 million kilometers or 3.7 million miles), it will hit orbital velocities as high as 200 kilometers a second (450,000 miles an hour).

To just put that incredible figure into perspective – going this fast would get you from the Earth to the Moon in about 1/2 an hour. It is also about 0.067% the speed of light."



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