The United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket launches NASA's Parker Solar Probe on August 12, 2018. Photo: Bill Ingalls/NASA via Getty Images

The Parker Solar Probe has broken the record for the closest a human-made object has ever come to the sun, passing the 16.55 million mile marker at 1:04 p.m., according to a release by NASA.

The backdrop: Later this evening, the probe is expected to also break the record for the fastest spacecraft traveling relative to the Sun — faster than 153,454 miles per hour. Both records had been held since 1976 by the German-American Helios 2 spacecraft. “It’s a proud moment for the team," Project Manager Andy Driesman, from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland told NASA, "though we remain focused on our first solar encounter, which begins on Oct. 31.” The goal of the Parker Solar Probe is to shed insight on the inner workings of our closest star.

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Axios-Ipsos poll: Fear of voting

Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Note: ±3.0% margin of error for the total sample; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Democrats are twice as likely as Republicans to worry about in-person voting — with nearly two in three seeing it as a large or moderate risk to their health — according to this week's installment of the Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Why it matters: This could pose a significant disadvantage for Joe Biden and other Democratic candidates in November if the pattern holds — especially in states where high infection rates persist, or where there are significant hurdles to mail-in, absentee or early voting.

Trump: Coronavirus is "under control"

President Trump said in an interview with “Axios on HBO” that he thinks the coronavirus is as well-controlled in the U.S. as it can be, despite dramatic surges in new infections over the course of the summer and more than 150,000 American deaths.

  • “They are dying, that's true. And you have — it is what it is. But that doesn't mean we aren't doing everything we can. It's under control as much as you can control it. This is a horrible plague,” he told Axios' Jonathan Swan.
Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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  4. Politics: White House will require staff to undergo randomized coronavirus testing — Pelosi says Birx "enabled" Trump on misinformation.
  5. Sports: 13 members of St. Louis Cardinals test positive, prompting MLB to cancel Tigers series — Former FDA chief says MLB outbreaks should be warning sign for schools.
  6. 1 🎥 thing: "Tenet" may be the first major film to get a global pandemic release.