Solar Orbiter, built to study the Sun and its influence on space, blasts off on Sunday from Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
Solar Orbiter, is a new collaborative mission between ESA (European Space Agency) and NASA.
Solar Orbiter addresses a central question of heliophysics: How does the Sun create and control the constantly changing space environment throughout the solar system?
The Solar orbiter is on a unique trajectory with cameras to provide first-ever images of the Sun’s poles. The spacecraft will be within the orbit of Mercury, 42 million kilometres from the Sun. The trajectory includes 22 close approaches to the Sun to study the Sun and its influence on space.
The orbiter is built to withstand 600 degree celsius when it is close to the Sun at 42 million km.
It will take Solar Orbiter about two years to reach its primary science orbit. Solar Orbiter combines two main modes of study. In-situ instruments will measure the environment around the spacecraft, detecting such things as electric and magnetic fields and passing particles and waves. The remote-sensing instruments will image the Sun from afar, along with its atmosphere and its outflow of material, collecting data that will help scientists understand the Sun’s inner workings.
The Sun mission is expected to be for a duration of 7 years.
Learn more about Solar Orbiter at: