For decades now, human beings have been sending out spacecraft into the space, in order to understand the mysteries of the universe.
But have you ever paused to think which of these actually hold the speed records?
Helios B - The fastest ever spacecraft
The record for the fastest ever spacecraft in our solar system is held by Helios B. It was developed as a joint venture of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) and NASA. The probe achieved the feat on April 16, 1976, reaching a maximum velocity of 2,46,960 km/hour when it made its closest approach to the sun.
The New Horizons - Spacecraft with the fastest launch velocity
The New Horizons probe of NASA holds the record for the spacecraft with fastest launch velocity. It was set out on a mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt in 2006. Weighing 478 kg, the piano–sized spacecraft shot off from the face of the earth at a monumental speed of 58,000 km/hour.
Solar Probe Plus - The future champion
While Helios B currently does hold the record for maximum heliocentric velocity achieved, it might not remain as the champion so for long. A NASA mission scheduled to launch in 2018 – Solar Probe Plus – is designed to fly into the sun’s atmosphere. And when it does that, it is expected to reach orbital velocities up to 7,24,000 km/hour. Mind blowing speed, indeed!