A successful joint operation between the NASA and the ESA ( European Space Agency) has resulted in the Solar Orbit travelling to the Sun to study its poles. The Solar Orbit, reportedly of size of a van, took off in United Alliance’s Atlas V rocket on 9th Feb at 12:24 AM. The Solar Orbit would take about 2 years to make its first acquaintance with the Sun, rather polar region of the Sun. If the NASA scientists are to be believed then the study of the Sun’s poles can help Manned Moon missions quite safer.
The satellite plans to pass through Venus and leveraging on its gravity, Solar Orbit plans to propel itself towards the Sun. Among other things, Solar Orbit plans to study the Sun’s magnetic field, flares and atmosphere. Although the satellite would have the flaps open, it would be protected by a sheet of titanium which would be coated with a material called SolarBlack. This combination can withstand heat upto 600 degree Celsius or 1100 degree Fahrenheit.
“Together with our European partners, we’re entering a new era of heliophysics that will transform the study of the Sun and help make astronauts safer as they travel on Artemis program missions to the Moon,” said NASA associate administrator Thomas Zurbuchen in a statement.
Have a look at the take off of the Solar Orbit: