That's fast enough to travel from NY to London in about 1 minute 20 seconds (assuming someone got the atmosphere out of the way) and beats the previous record of 68.6 km/s (246,960 km/h; 153,453 mph) set by the US/German Helios 2 probe in 1976.
PSP's mission is due to last seven years, with the probe set to fly up to 3.8 million miles (6.1 million km) from the sun's surface - seven times closer than any spacecraft before it. The Parker Solar Probe is expected to best that today as well, reaching higher speeds at about 10:54 p.m. EDT (0254 GMT on October 30), NASA officials said.
Harnessing Venus' gravity, Parker will complete seven flybys over seven years to gradually bring its orbit closer and closer to the Sun.
NASA expects to get the first batch of data in December, but the spacecraft has another mission: it holds a memory card with the names of over 1.1 million people who signed up to "travel" to the Sun. These observations will add key knowledge to NASA's efforts to understand the Sun, where changing conditions can propagate out into the solar system, affecting Earth and other worlds. The space agency reports that the probe now holds the record for closest approach to the Sun by a human-made object, passing inside the current record of 42.7 million kilometers from the Sun's surface on October 29, 2018, at about 1:04pm ET (17:04 UTC). And the sun's powerful gravity will eventually accelerate the probe to a top speed of around 430,000 miles per hour (690,000 km/h), NASA officials have said.
Later today, the solar probe should also break Helios 2's record for velocity relative to the Sun of 246,960 km/hour. Nevertheless, the team behind remain focused on the first solar encounter.
This week, the probe will get 15 million miles away from the sun. During this time, the probe managed to overcome the path from Earth to the star.
This way, scientists will be able to forecast solar winds or solar storms that are known to create the attractive aurora borealis but also disrupt communications, satellites, or power grids. It will also gather information on the magnetic and electric fields of the sun, and it will sample the corona's particle.