This year, the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, holding the Solar Orbiter, took off from its number 41 Launch Complex at Cape Canaveral Airforce Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida, into outer space to get a first look at the poles of the sun on February 9, 2020. NASA and Europe hope their Solar Orbiter will get photos of the elusive poles of the sun.
Solar Orbiter Takes Off Toward the Sun
Cesar Garcia Marirrodrig, a project manager for the space agency of Europe, said it was a great moment in the history of space exploration.
The spacecraft, worth $1.5 billion would join NASA’s Parker Solar Probe, which was launched at about 1 ½ years ago, coming close to the sun to find out what it is hiding.
The Solar Orbiter would not get close enough to the corona of the sun; it will stylishly get into an out of plane orbit and reach both poles that have never been snapped before. Thus, it will give the world photos it has never seen of the sun. Through the use of ground observatories, like an orchestra, the sun staring duo should succeed in their mission.
Different musical instruments play different musical tunes. But when they are all brought together, they play with the symphony of the sun.
More About the Solar Orbiter
This Solar Orbiter was created in Europe with about nine different scientific instruments. NASA helped with the tenth instrument and got the launch at night from Cape Canaveral.
About 1,000 engineers and scientists around Europe organized themselves with their colleagues from the U.S. under the full moon while United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket rode off. The sky brightened for long miles all around. People around stopped to see the wonder.
The rocket could still be seen for about 4 minutes after it left the ground. It was like a beautiful star that was shining through the night’s sky. Daniel Muella, one of Europe’s project scientists, was quite thrilled. He called it a picture-perfect moment in history. His counterpart from NASA, Holy Gilbert, screamed a word: “Wow!”
It was successful as declared by NASA when the Solar Orbiter’s wings were released.
The Solar Orbiter is an 1800 kilogram (4000-pound) spacecraft with antennas and instrument booms that are spindly. It will swing past Venus in the last month of the year and again next year. Then it will pass Earth, making use of the gravity of the planets to change its paths. Full science operations will start at the end of 2022, while the first very close encounter with the sun should kick off in the year 2022, and more details will come in every six months.