New Mission Will Take First Peek at Sun’s Poles
A new spacecraft is journeying to the Sun to snap the first pictures of the Sun’s north and south poles. Solar Orbiter, a collaboration between ESA (the European Space Agency) and NASA will have its first opportunity to launch from Cape Canaveral on Feb. 7, 2020, at 11:15 p.m. EST. Launching on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, the spacecraft will use Venus’ and Earth’s gravity to swing itself out of the ecliptic plane — the swath of space, roughly aligned with the Sun’s equator, where all planets orbit. From there, Solar Orbiter's bird’s eye view will give it the first-ever look at the Sun's poles.
Watch this video on the NASA Goddard YouTube channel.
Music credits: “Oxide” and “Virtual Tidings” by Andrew Michael Britton [PRS], David Stephen Goldsmith [PRS]; “Progressive Practice” by Emmanuel David Lipszc [SACEM], Franck Lascombes [SACEM], Sebastien Lipszyc [SACEM]; “Political Spectrum” by Laurent Dury [SACEM} from Universal Production Music
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NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center