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Last updated on April 16, 2014 at 17:34 EDT

Latest Solar Orbiter Stories

Solar Orbiter
2014-02-13 04:45:42

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Burnt-bone charcoal, a pigment once used as part of prehistoric cave paintings in southern France, will be applied to the ESA’s Solar Orbiter to help protect the vehicle from the Sun’s rays, the agency announced Wednesday. The spacecraft, which is currently scheduled to launch in 2017, will have a type of black calcium phosphate produced from the substance applied to the outermost titanium sheet of its multilayered heatshield,...

2013-10-31 08:20:14

Imagers Integral to Studying Sun at Distance Closer than Previous Missions MENLO PARK, Calif., Oct. 31, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- SRI International, working with specialty foundry leader TowerJazz (NASDAQ: TSEM), has delivered the first complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) imager engineering units to the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) for use on the Solar Orbiter Heliospheric Imager (SoloHI) optical telescope. With its large field of view, SoloHI will make high-resolution...

2013-05-02 15:40:33

The Sun and our neighboring planet Mars are two destinations that the UK and US will be exploring together in the coming years, following recent agreements for collaboration on three big space projects. During a visit this week to space facilities and companies in the UK, Mason Peck, Chief Technologist at NASA, said, “Cooperation and collaboration are critical to meet increasingly global challenges, and our partnership with the United Kingdom in space exploration and technology...

ESA Contracts Astrium UK To Build Solar Orbiter
2012-04-27 03:18:20

ESA has awarded the contract to build its next-generation Sun explorer to Astrium UK. Solar Orbiter will investigate how the Sun creates and controls the heliosphere, the extended atmosphere of the Sun. Prof. Alvaro Giménez Cañete, ESA Director of Science and Robotic Exploration and Miranda Mills, National Director — Earth Observation, Navigation and Science of Astrium signed the contract on 26 April on the occasion of a ceremony celebrating 50 years of...

2011-10-06 09:23:37

NASA will begin development and testing of two science instruments, in cooperation with the European Space Agency (ESA), to be placed on ESA's newly selected Solar Orbiter mission. The spacecraft will study the sun from a closer distance than any previous mission. At its closest approach, the European-led project will operate approximately 21 million miles from the sun's surface, near the orbit of Mercury, roughly 25 percent of the distance from the sun to the Earth. This unique vantage...

Image 1 - ESA Selects Next Two Science Missions
2011-10-04 11:53:02

The powerful influence of the Sun and the nature of the mysterious 'dark energy' motivate ESA´s next two science missions. Solar Orbiter and Euclid were selected today by ESA's Science Programme Committee for implementation, with launches planned for 2017 and 2019. These two missions are medium-class missions and are the first in ESA's Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 Plan. Solar Orbiter will venture closer to the Sun than any previous mission. It is designed to make major breakthroughs in...

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2010-02-19 09:15:16

Dark energy, habitable planets around other stars, and the mysterious nature of our own Sun, have been chosen by ESA as candidates for two medium-class missions to be launched no earlier than 2017. On Thursday February 18, ESA's Science Program Committee (SPC) approved three missions to enter the so-called definition phase. This is the next step required before the final decision is taken as to which missions are implemented. The three proposals chosen to proceed are Euclid, PLAnetary...

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2009-11-01 05:56:58

On August 1, 2008 a total solar eclipse was visible within a narrow corridor that traversed from North America to China. The path of the Moon's umbral shadow started from Canada and extended across northern Greenland, the Arctic, central Russia, Mongolia, and China. A partial eclipse was seen within the much broader path of the Moon's penumbral shadow, which included northeastern part of North America, most parts of Europe and Asia. At a solar physics meeting, held in Kunming, China in the...

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2009-06-26 09:35:00

Upon receipt of the last command from Earth, the transmitter on Ulysses will switch off on 30 June, bringing one of the most successful and longest missions in spaceflight history to an end. After 18.6 years in space and defying several earlier expectations of its demise, the joint ESA/NASA solar orbiter Ulysses will achieve 'end of mission' on 30 June 2009. The final communication pass with a ground station will start at 17:35 CEST and run until 22:20 CEST (15:35-20:20 UTC) or until the...

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2009-03-20 15:30:33

NASA and the European Space Agency have selected 10 proposals for science instruments to fly aboard a spacecraft that will study the sun from a unique vantage point in space. The European-led mission, called the Solar Orbiter, will be positioned about one-fourth the distance Earth is from the sun. The location ultimately will enhance the ability for scientists worldwide to forecast space weather. Space weather can produce electromagnetic fields on Earth that induce extreme currents in wires,...