ESA Science & Technology - News Archive
The first images from Solar Orbiter, a new Sun-observing mission by ESA and NASA, have revealed omnipresent miniature solar flares, dubbed 'campfires', near the surface of our closest star.
ESA's Solar Orbiter has successfully completed four months of painstaking technical verification, known as commissioning. Despite the challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the spacecraft is now ready to begin performing science as it continues its cruise towards the Sun.
ESA's Sun-exploring mission Solar Orbiter has made its first close approach to the Sun on 15 June, getting as close as 77 million km to the star's surface, about half the distance between the Sun and Earth.
ESA's Solar Orbiter will cross through the tails of Comet ATLAS during the next few days. Although the recently launched spacecraft was not due to be taking science data at this time, mission experts have worked to ensure that the four most relevant instruments will be switched on during the unique encounter.
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.
At 16:00 CET on Thursday, 13 February, the critical first 83 hours of Solar Orbiter's unique mission to study our star came to an end.
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.
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.