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NASA-ESA Solar Orbiter Spacecraft

NASA-ESA Solar Orbiter Spacecraft:

NASA and European Space Agency’s spacecraft has captured the first solar eruption on the Sun’s surface. These eruptions are also known as coronal mass ejections (CME).

  • If these eruptions on the Sun’s surface are big enough, they can cause billions of tons of plasma and electrically charged particles to dash towards Earth.

About NASA-ESA Solar Orbiter Spacecraft:

  • Solar Orbiter is a space mission of international collaboration between ESA (European Space Agency) and NASA.
  • The spacecraft was launched from Cape Canaveral on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket in February 2020.
  • It was selected as the first medium-class mission of ESA’s Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 Programme.
  • This is the first mission that will provide images of the sun’s north and south poles using a suite of six instruments on board that will capture the spacecraft’s view.
  • It is a seven-year mission and will come within 26 million miles of the sun.
  • It will be able to brave the heat of the sun because it has a custom titanium heat shield coated in calcium phosphate so that it can endure temperatures up to 970 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Solar Orbiter follows the Ulysses spacecraft, another collaboration between ESA and NASA that launched in 1990.