The probe was launched in August last year and successfully completed its first round-the-day flight on January 19. This is a feat that the Parker Solar Detector will repeat many times in the next few years, but the completion of the first day of flight is clearly a cause for celebration.
Parker Solar Detector Project Manager Andy Driesman said in a statement: "This is an inspiring and new gravitational flight around the sun. We have learned a lot about how the spacecraft works and reacts to the solar environment. I am proud to say that the team's predictions are very accurate."
The Parker probe collected a large amount of data during the first round of solar operation and did most of the work without radio communication with the Earth's processors. When it is orbiting the sun, the detector will often lose contact with the Earth and then reconnect when it appears again behind the star.
So far, the detector has sent more than 17GB of scientific data and is still returning more observations. NASA said the data dump will be completed in April.
The detector is expected to work for nearly seven years, completing a total of 24 round-the-day flights, gradually approaching the sun after each mission. The mission of the Parker Detector is to observe many different phenomena of the sun, including the generation of the solar wind and how to track energy and heat through the sundial to advance our understanding of the sun.