Solar Orbiter

  • Released Monday, December 16th, 2019
  • Updated Wednesday, February 12th, 2020 at 12:00AM


As the main driver of space weather, it is essential to understand the behavior of the Sun to learn how to better safeguard our planet, space technology and astronauts. Solar Orbiter will study the Sun, its outer atmosphere and what drives the constant outflow of solar wind which affects Earth. The spacecraft will observe the Sun's atmosphere up close with high spatial resolution telescopes and compare these observations to measurements taken in the environment directly surrounding the spacecraft – together creating a one-of-a-kind picture of how the Sun can affect the space environment throughout the solar system.

Solar Orbiter is a joint mission between NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA). It launched on Feb. 9, 2020, at 11:03 p.m. EST on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 411 rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral. NASA’s Launch Services Program managed the launch.

For more information on the Solar Orbiter mission, visit:

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