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Tag: Orbiter

Solar Orbiter: Europe’s Sun mission makes first close pass

Solar Orbiter: Europe’s Sun mission makes first close pass

Science
Media playback is unsupported on your device Europe's Solar Orbiter (SolO) probe makes its first close pass of the Sun on Monday, tracking by at a distance of just over 77 million km.SolO was launched in February and is on a mission to understand what drives our star's dynamic behaviour.The close pass, known as a perihelion, puts the probe between the orbits of Venus and Mercury.In the coming years, SolO will go nearer still, closing to within 43 million km of the Sun on occasions.As it stands today, only five other missions have dived deeper into the inner Solar System: Mariner 10, Helios 1 & 2, Messenger, and Parker Solar Probe.Earth orbits 149 million km (93 million miles) on average from the Sun.SolO is a European Space Agency (Esa) cr...
Solar Orbiter: Sun mission blasts off

Solar Orbiter: Sun mission blasts off

Science
Media playback is unsupported on your device Europe's audacious Solar Orbiter probe has lifted off on its quest to study the Sun from close quarters.The €1.5bn (£1.3bn) mission is packed with cameras and sensors that should reveal remarkable new insights on the workings of our star.Scientists want to better understand what drives its dynamic behaviour.The spacecraft launched aboard an Atlas rocket, which lifted off from Cape Canaveral in Florida at 04:03 GMT (23:03 local time Sunday).The Sun will occasionally eject billions of tonnes of matter and entangled magnetic fields that can disrupt activity at Earth.The worst of these storms will trip the electronics on satellites, interfere with radio communications and even knock over power grids.Res...
NASA, Europe space agency launch Solar Orbiter mission

NASA, Europe space agency launch Solar Orbiter mission

Science
ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 9 (UPI) -- One of the most advanced science missions to study the sun in history -- the Solar Orbiter -- launched aboard an Atlas V rocket from Florida on Sunday night. The rocket lifted off into a partly cloudy sky with a full moon as planned at 11:03 p.m. EST from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, adjacent to Kennedy Space Center. The Solar Orbiter satellite will aim multiple cameras and sensory equipment at the sun's polar regions, images of which have never been taken. It's part of a concerted effort by NASA and the European Space Agency to better understand solar radiation and solar flares. "The mission will be able to look at the poles of the sun, which will be the first time ever that we will be able to look at the poles," said Cesar ...
Solar Orbiter launch planned Sunday to study sun’s poles

Solar Orbiter launch planned Sunday to study sun’s poles

Science
ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 8 (UPI) -- One of the most advanced science missions to study the sun in history -- the Solar Orbiter -- is scheduled for launch on Sunday night in Florida. The launch is planned for 11:03 p.m. EST at Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, which is adjacent to Kennedy Space Center. A two-hour launch window exists in case of delays. The satellite will aim multiple cameras and sensory equipment at the sun's polar regions, images of which have never been taken. It's part of a concerted effort by NASA and the European Space Agency to better understand solar radiation and solar flares. "The mission will be able to look at the poles of the sun, which will be the first time ever that we will be able to look at the poles," said Cesar Garcia, Solar Orbite...
Solar Orbiter: Spacecraft to leave UK bound for the Sun

Solar Orbiter: Spacecraft to leave UK bound for the Sun

Science
It's taken a little longer than expected but the Solar Orbiter probe is built and ready to begin testing. UK engineers are putting the finishing touches to the satellite this week before sending it to Germany to begin a year-long test campaign. Such attention to detail is necessary because of the punishing conditions the spacecraft will experience when studying our star's inner workings. SolO is going to fly to within 43 million km of the solar surface. In doing so, the heatshield on the front of the European Space Agency (Esa) satellite will have to cope with temperatures of up to 600C. If you're thinking, "but I thought we just launched a probe to study the Sun" - you'd be right. That was the US space agency's (Nasa) Parker sat...