Sun  ID: 4653

Parker Solar Probe and Solar Orbiter Trajectories

The next missions scheduled for detailed studies of the Sun and solar atmosphere are Parker Solar Probe and Solar Orbiter.

Parker Solar Probe moves in a highly-elliptical orbit, using gravity-assists from Venus to move the orbit perihelion closer to the Sun with each pass. The goal is to get the spacecraft to fly through the corona at a distance of 9.5 solar radii. Primary science operations are conducted when the spacecraft is within 0.25 astronomical units (AUs) from the Sun, so that portion of the orbit is colored red. The nominal end of mission for Parker Solar Probe is 2025, so the orbit fades away after that year.

Solar Orbiter uses a series of Earth and Venus gravity assists to move its orbit perihelion (the closest distance from the Sun) to a distance inside the orbit of Mercury for detailed solar monitoring. The primary science operations for Solar Orbiter are conducted when the spacecraft is within 0.5 AUs from the Sun.

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Visualization Credits

Tom Bridgman (GST): Lead Visualizer
Karen Fox (ASI): Producer
Angelos Vourlidas (Johns Hopkins University/APL): Scientist
William T. Thompson (ASI): Scientist
Holly Gilbert (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Chris St. Cyr (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Geoffrey F. Brown (Johns Hopkins University/APL): Scientist
Ian Jones (ADNET Systems Inc.): Technical Support
Laurence Schuler (ADNET Systems Inc.): Technical Support
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NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio

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Data Used:
SPICE Ephemerides Parker Solar Probe: 2018/07/31-2025/09/01; Solar Orbiter: 2020/02/07-2030/09/01
DE 431
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

SVS >> Hyperwall
SVS >> Heliophysics
SVS >> Corona
SVS >> Satellite Orbit
NASA Science >> Sun
SVS >> Solar Orbiter
SVS >> Coronal Heating
SVS >> Parker Solar Probe