Europe’s Solar Orbiter will leave the Earth for the Sun on February 10, 2020

On the night of February 9-10, 2020, from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the Solar Orbiter probe will depart towards the Sun on board an Atlas V 411. Its cruise will last a little less than two years and its scientific mission between 5 and 9 years.

Dedicated to solar and heliospheric physics, it was selected and adopted in October 2011 as the first medium-class mission of ESA’s Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 programme, with a strong contribution from NASA. The objectives are to explore the solar wind and understand the activity of our star. Solar Orbiter will thus enable us to better characterize the Sun’s eruptive phenomena, and to understand how the Sun controls its environment and the interplanetary magnetic medium, also known as the heliosphere.

Because of its recognized scientific expertise, France contributed, via CNES, CNRS and CEA, to the realization of 6 of the 10 instruments equipping the payload. IRAP is one of the laboratories involved in this space mission.

Contact IRAP

  • Philippe Louarn, philippe.louarn@irap.omp.eu

More news

News

Mars didn’t dry up in one go

The Perseverance rover has just landed on Mars. Meanwhile, its precursor Curiosity continues to explore the base of Mount Sharp (officially Aeolis Mons), a mountain several kilometres high at the […]

12.04.2021

News

Impact of metals in the chemistry of (stellar) dust

Understanding the formation of stardust in the laboratory is one of the objectives of the ERC Synergy Nanocosmos project (1). The Toulouse team involved in this project has published a […]

01.04.2021

News

SPHERE, twenty years of challenges and successes for exoplanets

The SPHERE consortium celebrates its 100th scientific publication, including the demographic study of exoplanets beyond Saturn’s orbit. The SPHERE (Spectro-Polarimetric High-Contrast Exo-planet REsearch) exoplanet imager, currently installed and operating at […]

19.03.2021

Search