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Solar Orbiter ready to depart Europe

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Photo voltaic Orbiter at IABG

Photo voltaic Orbiter able to depart Europe

18 October 2019

ESA’s Photo voltaic Orbiter mission has accomplished its take a look at marketing campaign in Europe and is now being packed prepared for its journey to Cape Canaveral on the finish of this month, forward of launch in February 2020.

The spacecraft was on show right now for the ultimate time in Europe, on the IABG take a look at centre close to Munich, Germany. It was constructed at Airbus Stevenage, UK, and has spent the final yr at IABG present process important testing reminiscent of checking deployment mechanisms, and that it could possibly stand up to the vibrations of launch, and the thermal extremes and vacuum of house. It has now been declared prepared for cargo to the launch web site and can journey an Antonov cargo aircraft on 31 October.

Photo voltaic Orbiter at IABG

As soon as launched it would comply with an elliptical path across the Solar, at its closest bringing it inside the orbit of Mercury, simply 42 million kilometres from the Solar. As such, Solar-facing components of the spacecraft have to resist temperatures of greater than 500ºC – as a result of photo voltaic radiation 13 instances extra intense than for Earth-orbiting satellites – whereas different components stay in shadow at -180ºC.

The mission is crucial to study extra concerning the Solar-Earth connection. We reside inside an enormous bubble of plasma generated by the Solar that surrounds all the Photo voltaic System, inside which we’re prey to house climate. Photo voltaic Orbiter will present a deeper understanding as to how exercise on the Solar is linked to those photo voltaic storms, which might disrupt electrical techniques, satellite tv for pc communications, GPS, and create increased doses of radiation for polar flights and astronauts.

“Photo voltaic Orbiter is ready for answering a few of the largest scientific questions on our star, and its knowledge will assist us to higher shield our planet from the worldwide challenges of house climate,” says Günther Hasinger, ESA Director of Science.

“Because of the onerous work of our groups constructing and testing this inspiring house mission, we’ve reached an vital milestone right now in Europe, and the spacecraft will now be readied for its ultimate part of pre-launch preparations at Cape Canaveral.”

Photo voltaic Orbiter’s journey across the Solar

Photo voltaic Orbiter will launch on a NASA-provided Atlas V 411. The launch is at the moment scheduled within the early hours of 6 February (UTC). As soon as in house, and over the course of a number of years, it would use the gravity of Venus and Earth to lift its orbit above the poles of the Solar, offering new views on our star, together with the primary pictures of the Solar’s polar areas. Its complementary suite of devices means it is going to be capable of examine the plasma surroundings regionally across the spacecraft, and gather knowledge from the Solar from afar, connecting the dots between the Solar’s exercise, and the house surroundings within the interior Photo voltaic System.

Photo voltaic Orbiter is an ESA mission with robust NASA participation. The prime contractor is Airbus Defence and House in Stevenage, UK. It follows within the legacy of missions reminiscent of Ulysses (1990-2009) and SOHO (1995-present) and also will present complementary datasets to NASA’s Parker Photo voltaic Probe that may enable extra science to be distilled from the 2 missions than both may obtain on their very own.

For extra data please contact:

ESA Newsroom and Media Relations
E-mail: media@esa.int

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