On February 9, 2020, from Cape Canaveral, Florida, the Solar Orbiter launched into space to study the Sun. The Solar Orbiter is practically an international collaboration between the European Space Agency knows as ESA and NASA. Together they have launched the Solar Orbital to reach as close as possible to the Sun. So what is coming next in the Solar Orbital’s mission?
The launching happened on February 9, 2020, at 11:03 P.M. EST or February 10 for the GMT zone. The launching proceeded from the Space Launch Complex 41, situated on the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station from Florida. At this moment, the spacecraft is still on its journey through the Solar System. After one hour from the launch, the probe has done its part and separated from the rocket. When the signal sent from it back to Earth, it means that it had powered, and everything is going as planned.
What’s next for the Solar Orbiter missions?
The Solar Orbiter will travel for two years until it reaches the Sun. On its way, it will be a witness of all the changes and things that are happening out of the stars’ poles. However, until it will reach its destination and focus on the big, hot goal, the Sun, the spacecraft has other tasks to do. It will start by developing the communication channels and the boom instrument. Also, the Solar Orbiter is not wandering around until it reaches the Sun.
The spacecraft has its own trajectory, and this will permit us to see and take pictures of both poles of the Sun. In the long run, the Solar Orbital will have its first three months for checking out all the instruments and technology for proper working. When it arrives near the Sun, all the measurements will begin. But, of course, the scientists will not wait two years to collect data, because the boom instruments will analyze the wind, the energetic particles, and many more.