Solar Orbiter Mission
Recently, ESA (European Space Agency) and NASA launched the Solar Orbiter mission. The mission is said to be dedicated to solar and heliospheric physics.
● In 1990, NASA and ESA collaborated on a Sun mission known as Ulysses spacecraft.
● The Spacecraft flew over the sun’s poles and completed three passes before it ended in 2009.
● The flaw with Ulysses spacecraft was its view was limited to the sun's equator.
● Solar Orbiter mission is a follow-up of Ulysses spacecraft.
About Solar orbiter
⮚ It forms the part of the ESA Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 programme.
⮚ It will provide images of the sun’s north and south poles.
⮚ It has a life span of 7 years and will come within 26 million miles of the sun.
⮚ It will use a specially designed titanium heat shield coated with calcium phosphate to bear the heat of sun.
⮚ The mission will work in tandem with NASA’s Parker Solar Probe.
⮚ Mission carries several objectives such as:
o Examining the creation and controlling mechanism of heliosphere by the Sun.
o In Situ and remote sensing observations of
• Solar Winds
• Heliospheric Magnetic field
• Solar Energetic particles
• Sun’s magnetic field
• Transient interplanetary disturbances
o It will also examine various factors such as:
• Source of coronal magnetic field
• Driving force behind Solar winds
• Heliospheric variability due to solar transients
• Solar Eruptions and production of energetic particle radiation
• Working of Solar dynamo
Importance of Solar Orbiter
Study of the sun's magnetic field and solar wind will provide clear perception about space weather.
Space weather impacts the satellites and astronauts on the International Space Station.
Since the Sun's magnetic field is massive and provides a runway for solar winds to travel directly across the solar system, it can help in unraveling new information about our solar system.
PEPPER IT WITH
Aditya L1, Parker Solar Mission, Soho, SDO, Stereo