The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have planned their second giant mission, and that is the solar orbiter. Typically Solar Orbiter is a spacecraft that will assist the organization in clicking the pictures of northern and southern poles of the Sun. NASA does not merely run it, however, the European Space Agency (ESA) is also in collaboration with the organization to achieve the aim of the solar orbiter.
While peeping into the details of its launch, it has been confirmed by the NASA officials that the spacecraft will launch on 7th February 2020 from Cape Canaveral.
NASA explained spacecraft would utilize the gravity of Venus and Earth to sway out of the ecliptic plane, which is roughly aligned with the equator of the Sun, where all planets move around the Sun in orbits. At that place, Solar Orbiter spacecraft will access the bird’s eye view of the Sun’s poles, and that will be counted as the very first look of the Sun’s poles.
The ESA project scientist Daniel Muller added that it is going to be terra incognita which means an unknown territory. Along with this, the scientist also said that it is typically exploratory science. Daniel is one of the principal researchers of the mission at the European Space Research and Technology Centre in the Netherlands.
“The pole is especially significant for us to have the option to model more precisely,” Holly Gilbert, Nasa venture scientist for the crucial mission, Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, said. “For predicting space climate occasions, we need a quite exact model of the magnetic field of the Sun across the whole globe.”
According to NASA researches, Sun plays a crucial role in deciding the shape of the space and the world around us. The Sun has a powerful magnetic field, which is extended beyond Pluto, and that opens up a superhighway for the solar particles which get charged, which is commonly known as the solar wind. When this solar wind strikes the Earth’s surface, it can undoubtedly bring the space weather storms, which cause interference to our communication as well as GPS satellites.
A look into the past
Prior to it, Ulysses spacecraft also got launched with the collaboration of ESA and NASA in 1990, but that was decommissioned after taking three rounds around the SUN. But, that spacecraft could not go close to Sun than its distance to the Earth. After a long time development, the spacecraft will carry the closest cameras near the Sun, which will be facing it.
A look into the future
As per the scientists, Solar Orbiter can pass 26 million around the Sun in its lifetime of seven years. The scientists have designed a heat shield to the spacecraft that can bear the temperature of around 900 degrees Fahrenheit, which is 13 times the heat imparted by the Sun at any spacecraft around the Earth’s orbit.
In short, it is the second major mission to the inner Solar System, and NASA, ESA, is quite positive about its results.