ESA’s Solar Orbiter is getting ready for its launch on an Atlas V rocket provided by NASA and operated by United Launch Alliance from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Once in space, and over the course of several years, the spacecraft will repeatedly use the gravity of Venus and Earth to raise its orbit above the poles of the Sun, providing new perspectives on our star, including the first images of the Sun’s polar regions.
All these operations will be controlled from the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC), Germany, where a dedicated team is currently working on simulations of the first moments in orbit, after separation from the launcher, but also all the delicate manoeuvres of the journey that will make Solar Orbiter mission possible.
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Solar Orbiter – the Sun close-up
Solar Orbiter launch highlights
Solar Orbiter liftoff
Testing Solar Orbiter
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