Watch the Launch

Additional Media

Solar Orbiter

Solar Orbiter will address big questions in Solar System science to help us understand how our star creates and controls the giant bubble of plasma that surrounds the whole Solar System and influences the planets within it. It is an ESA mission with strong NASA participation.

Solar Orbiter

Overview

Destination: Heliocentric N/A
Mission: Heliophysics

Heliocentric N/A Space Launch Complex 41 Cape Canaveral, FL, USA Probability: 90% #SolO

Solar Orbiter is a joint ESA/NASA mission dedicated to solar and heliospheric physics. It will be used to examine how the Sun creates and controls the heliosphere, the vast bubble of charged particles blown by the solar wind into the interstellar medium. The spacecraft will combine in situ and remote sensing observations to gain new information about the solar wind, the heliospheric magnetic field, solar energetic particles, transient interplanetary disturbances and the Sun's magnetic field. Instruments include: * Solar Wind Analyser (SWA) * Energetic Particle Detector (EPD) * Magnetometer (MAG) * Radio and Plasma Wave analyser (RPW) * Polarimetric and Helioseismic Imager (PHI) * Extreme Ultraviolet Imager (EUI) * Spectral Imaging of the Coronal Environment (SPICE) * Spectrometer Telescope for Imaging X-rays (STIX) * Coronagraph (Metis) While mission is not intended to get as close to the Sun as Parker Solar Probe, it's designed to coordinate observations and has different set of instruments. Main mission starts after one and only Earth flyby in November 2021, and lasts until Dec 2026 when it enters extended phase. During the mission, Solar Orbiter will get through numerous Venus gravity assists, and its trajectory will be highly inclined allowing direct observations of Sun's poles.

Infographic

Geoff Barrett is an independent graphic artist that creates launch infographics for space flight events.

Atlas V 411

Family: Atlas
Configuration: 411

Atlas V with 4m fairing, 1 SRB, 1 Centaur upper stage engine.

See Atlas Details
Specifications
  • Max Stage
    2
  • Length
    58.3 m
  • Diameter
    3.8 m
  • Fairing Diameter
  • Launch Mass
  • Thrust
Family
  • Name
    Atlas V 411
  • Family
    Atlas
  • Variant
    411
  • Alias
  • Full Name
    Atlas V 411
Payload Capacity
  • Launch Cost
    $115000000
  • Low Earth Orbit
    8080 kg
  • Geostationary Transfer Orbit
    5950 kg
  • Direct Geostationary
    1935 kg
  • Sun-Synchronous Capacity

United Launch Alliance

Circle Image
CEO: Tory Bruno Founded: 2006 Successes: 246 Failures: 3 Pending: 17

Agency Type: Commercial

United Launch Alliance (ULA) is a joint venture of Lockheed Martin Space Systems and Boeing Defense, Space & Security. ULA was formed in December 2006 by combining the teams at these companies which provide spacecraft launch services to the government of the United States. ULA launches from both coasts of the US. They launch their Atlas V vehicle from LC-41 in Cape Canaveral and LC-3E at Vandeberg. Their Delta IV launches from LC-37 at Cape Canaveral and LC-6 at Vandenberg.

INFO WIKI

Related News

NASA Spaceflight

BepiColombo, Solar Orbiter collect data on Venus during historic double flyby

On August 9, 2021, the joint ESA/NASA Solar Orbiter spacecraft performed a flyby of Venus, coming within 7,995 km of the Venusian surface. Just 33 hours later, on August 10, the joint ESA/JAXA BepiColombo spacecraft flew by the planet, com…

ESA

Solar Orbiter: turning pictures into physics

Solar Orbiter's latest results show that the mission is making the first direct connections between events at the solar surface and what's happening in interplanetary space around the spacecraft. It is also giving us new insights into sola…

ESA

Solar Orbiter's first images reveal 'campfires' on the Sun

Spaceflight Now

First images from Solar Orbiter mission bring sun into sharper focus

NASA Spaceflight

Solar Orbiter reveals closest pictures, new science of the Sun

Cape Canaveral, FL, USA

Space Launch Complex 41


Atlas V 511
Success
2 days, 9 hours ago
USSF-8
Space Launch Complex 41 - Cape Canaveral, FL, USA

USSF-8 will launch two identical Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program (GSSAP) satellites GSSAP-5 and GSSAP-6 directly to a near-geosync…


Falcon 9
Success
5 days, 2 hours ago
Starlink Group 4-6
Launch Complex 39A - Kennedy Space Center, FL, USA

A batch of 49 satellites for Starlink mega-constellation - SpaceX's project for space-based Internet communication system.


Long March 2D
Success
1 week ago
Shiyan 13
Launch Complex 9 - Taiyuan, People's Republic of China

Chinese satellite declared for technological demonstration purposes, details TBD.


LauncherOne
Success
1 week, 3 days ago
Above the Clouds
Mojave Air and Space Port - Air launch to orbit

Mission to a 500 km circular orbit inclined at 45 degrees carrying eight R&D satellites from US government agencies with communications and navigatio…


Falcon 9
Success
1 week, 3 days ago
Transporter 3 (Dedicated SSO Rideshare)
Space Launch Complex 40 - Cape Canaveral, FL, USA

Transporter 3 mission is a dedicated rideshare flight to a sun-synchronous orbit with dozens of small microsatellites and nanosatellites for commerci…


Falcon 9
Success
2 weeks, 3 days ago
Starlink Group 4-5
Launch Complex 39A - Kennedy Space Center, FL, USA

A batch of 49 satellites for Starlink mega-constellation - SpaceX's project for space-based Internet communication system.


Simorgh
Failure
3 weeks, 4 days ago
3 unknown payloads
Imam Khomeini Spaceport - Semnan Space Center, Islamic Republic of Iran

Three unknown research payloads are reported to have been sent into space, according to the Iranian Ministry of Defense. However, no new objects are …


Long March 3
Success
3 weeks, 4 days ago
TJSW-9
Launch Complex 2 (LC-2) - Xichang Satellite Launch Center, People's Republic of China

Chinese classified satellite claimed to be for communication technology test purposes. Actual mission not known.


Long March 2D
Success
3 weeks, 4 days ago
Tianhui 4
Launch Area 4 (SLS-2 / 603) - Jiuquan, People's Republic of China

Chinese cartography satellite, details TBD.


Angara A5/Persey
Failure
3 weeks, 6 days ago
Dummy payload
35/1 - Plesetsk Cosmodrome, Russian Federation

This is the third test flight of Angara A5 launch vehicle and its first flight with Persey upper stage. Since it's a test flight, the rocket carries …