ESA Science & Technology - Solar Orbiter
Solar Orbiter is a mission dedicated to solar and heliospheric physics. It was selected as the first medium-class mission of ESA's Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 Programme. The programme outlines key scientific questions which need to be answered about the development of planets and the emergence of life, how the Solar System works, the origins of the Universe, and the fundamental physics at work in the Universe.
2 August 2019Like most spacecraft, ESA's Solar Orbiter carries a number of deployable structures that play key roles in the success of its mission. Earlier this year, engineers completed a series of deployment tests on the spacecraft's antennas, instrument boom and solar arrays.
1 April 2019Having successfully completed its thermal-vacuum tests in December, Solar Orbiter has been subjected to a new series of arduous environmental tests at the IABG facility in Ottobrunn, Germany, including intense shaking of the spacecraft to ensure that it will survive the stress of launch.
26 July 2013The heliosphere represents a uniquely accessible domain of space, where fundamental physical processes common to solar, astrophysical and laboratory plasmas can be studied under conditions impossible to reproduce on Earth and unfeasible to observe from astronomical distances. Solar Orbiter, the first mission of ESA's Cosmic Vision 2015 - 2025...
25 July 2011Reference: ESA/SRE(2011)14; Issue 1. This report, the so-called Red Book, presents an overview of the Solar Orbiter mission in its present state of advanced definition. Solar Orbiter is a medium-size (M-class) mission of the ESA Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 programme, and competes for one of the two launch slots foreseen in 2017 and 2018.