ESA: Solar Orbiter Ready to Depart Europe

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ESA: Solar Orbiter Ready to Depart Europe

Post by bystander » Fri Oct 25, 2019 6:45 pm

ESA Solar Orbiter Ready to Depart Europe
ESA | Space Science | Science & Technology | Solar Orbiter | 2019 Oct 18
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Solar Orbiter's Journey around the Sun ~ Credit: ESA/ATG Medialab
ESA's Solar Orbiter mission has completed its test campaign in Europe and is now being packed ready for its journey to Cape Canaveral at the end of this month, ahead of launch in February 2020. ...

Once launched it will follow an elliptical path around the Sun, at its closest bringing it within the orbit of Mercury, just 42 million kilometres from the Sun. As such, Sun-facing parts of the spacecraft have to withstand temperatures of more than 500°C – due to solar radiation thirteen times more intense than for Earth-orbiting satellites – while other parts remain in shadow at -180°C.

The mission is essential to learn more about the Sun-Earth connection. We live inside a giant bubble of plasma generated by the Sun that surrounds the entire Solar System, within which we are prey to space weather. Solar Orbiter will provide a deeper understanding as to how activity on the Sun is linked to these solar storms, which can disrupt electrical systems, satellite communications, GPS, and create higher doses of radiation for polar flights and astronauts ...

Sun Explorer Spacecraft Leaves For Launch Site
UK Space Agency | 2019 Oct 18

Solar Orbiter Leaves Europe for the USA
German Aerospace Center (DLR) | 2019 Oct 18
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Michigan: Solar Orbiter to Track Sun's Active Regions

Post by bystander » Fri Jan 31, 2020 5:24 pm

Solar Orbiter to Track Sun's Active Regions,
Improve Space Weather Prediction

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Latest ESA launch will be the first mission to get hi-res images of the sun's poles

Our understanding of space weather, its origin on the sun, and its progression and threat to Earth, comes with critical gaps—gaps that the European Space Agency’s Solar Orbiter hopes to help fill after its upcoming launch.

The mission to study the physics of the sun will be the first to capture images of its poles. The orbiter will work in coordination with NASA’s Parker Solar Probe, which launched in August 2018. Researchers from the University of Michigan are involved with both missions.

Orbiter is scheduled to launch Feb. 7 from Cape Canaveral. ...

Solar Orbiter seeks to connect activity on the sun with the solar plasma that flows out into the heliosphere and drives space weather. ...
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NASA to Broadcast Solar Orbiter Launch, Prelaunch Activities

Post by bystander » Sat Feb 01, 2020 4:18 pm

NASA to Broadcast Solar Orbiter Launch, Prelaunch Activities
NASA Launch Services | 2020 Jan 31

NASA’s Launch Services Program is targeting 11:03 p.m. EST Sunday, Feb. 9, for the launch of Solar Orbiter, an international collaborative mission between the European Space Agency and NASA. Live coverage will begin on NASA Television and the agency’s website Friday, Feb. 7 with prelaunch events.

Solar Orbiter will observe the Sun with high spatial resolution telescopes and capture observations in the environment directly surrounding the spacecraft to create a one-of-a-kind picture of how the Sun can affect the space environment throughout the solar system. The spacecraft also will provide the first-ever images of the Sun’s poles and the never-before-observed magnetic environment there, which helps drive the Sun’s 11-year solar cycle and its periodic outpouring of solar storms. ...
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ESA: Liftoff for Solar Orbiter

Post by bystander » Mon Feb 10, 2020 7:07 pm

Liftoff for Solar Orbiter, ESA's Mission to Face the Sun Up Close
ESA | Space Science | Science & Technology | Solar Orbiter | 2020 Feb 10
ESA’s Solar Orbiter mission lifted off on an Atlas V 411 from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 05:03 CET on 10 February on its mission to study the Sun from new perspectives.

Signals from the spacecraft were received at New Norcia ground station at 06:00 CET, following separation from the launcher upper stage in low Earth orbit.

Solar Orbiter, an ESA-led mission with strong NASA participation, will provide the first views of the Sun’s uncharted polar regions, giving unprecedented insight into how our parent star works.

It will also investigate how intense radiation and energetic particles being blasted out from the Sun and carried by the solar wind through the solar system impact our home planet, to better understand and predict periods of stormy ‘space weather’. Solar storms have the potential to knock out power grids, disrupt air traffic and telecommunications, and endanger space-walking astronauts, for example. ...

Solar Orbiter Launch Takes Solar Science to New Heights
NASA | Solar Orbiter Collaboration | 2020 Feb 10
Solar Orbiter, a new collaborative mission between ESA (European Space Agency) and NASA to study the Sun, launched at 11:03 p.m. EST Sunday on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

At 12:24 a.m. Monday, mission controllers at the European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany, received a signal from the spacecraft indicating that its solar panels had successfully deployed.

In the first two days after launch, Solar Orbiter will deploy its instrument boom and several antennas that will communicate with Earth and gather scientific data. Solar Orbiter is on a unique trajectory that will allow its comprehensive set of instruments to provide humanity with the first-ever images of the Sun's poles. This trajectory includes 22 close approaches to the Sun, bringing the spacecraft within the orbit of Mercury to study the Sun and its influence on space. ...

Solar Orbiter will spend about three months in its commissioning phase, during which the mission team will run checks on the spacecraft's 10 scientific instruments to ensure they are working properly. 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.

During the mission's cruise phase, which lasts until November 2021, the spacecraft's in-situ instruments will gather scientific data about the environment around the spacecraft, while the remote-sensing telescopes will focus on calibration to prepare for science operations near the Sun. The cruise phase includes three gravity assists that Solar Orbiter will use to draw its orbit closer to the Sun: two past Venus in December 2020 and August 2021, and one past Earth in November 2021. ...

A Place in the Sun – Solar Orbiter Mission Lifts Off
German Aerospace Center (DLR) | 2020 Feb 10
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ESA: First Solar Orbiter Instrument Sends Measurements

Post by bystander » Wed Feb 19, 2020 7:26 pm

First Solar Orbiter Instrument Sends Measurements
ESA | Space Science | Science & Technology | 2020 Feb 17
First measurements by a Solar Orbiter science instrument reached the ground on Thursday, providing a confirmation to the international science teams that the magnetometer on board is in a good shape following a successful deployment of the spacecraft's instrument boom.

Solar Orbiter, ESA's new Sun-exploring spacecraft, launched on Monday 10 February. It carries ten scientific instruments, four of which measure properties of the environment around the spacecraft, especially electromagnetic characteristics of the solar wind, the stream of charged particles flowing from the Sun. Three of these 'in situ' instruments have sensors located on the 4.4 m-long boom. ...

Ground controllers at the European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany, switched on the magnetometer's two sensors (one near the end of the boom and the other close to the spacecraft) about 21 hours after liftoff. The instrument recorded data before, during and after the boom's deployment, allowing the scientists to understand the influence of the spacecraft on measurements in the space environment. ...
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Re: ESA: First Solar Orbiter Instrument Sends Measurements

Post by neufer » Thu Feb 20, 2020 1:18 am

bystander wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 7:26 pm
First Solar Orbiter Instrument Sends Measurements
ESA | Space Science | Science & Technology | 2020 Feb 17
First measurements by a Solar Orbiter science instrument reached the ground on Thursday, providing a confirmation to the international science teams that the magnetometer on board is in a good shape following a successful deployment of the spacecraft's instrument boom.
So glad that the compass works...now I don't have to worry about :rocketship: getting lost.
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