Despite the fact everything revolves around the sun, we still have many things to learn about it. A team of UK experts built The Solar Orbiter spacecraft which will be used to study the sun. The solar orbiter will be used to gather data about the coronal mass ejections and the solar winds.
Dr Andrej Fludra from the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) offered more details about this project. “The primary goal is to understand the physics of all these processes on the Sun and in the heliosphere, in the inner part of the heliosphere. It’s solving the fundamental physics questions,” he declared.
It appears that the Solar Orbiter will also be used to investigate the polar regions of the Sun, offering the first spectral observations. The Solar Orbiter is preparing for its trip. At the moment the spacecraft is in Munich Germany and it will leave to Florida, in Cape Canaveral.
The Space Orbiter will come three times closer to the Sun than our planet does. It will take two years until the spacecraft will reach that point. The launch will take place in Florida and the date for the launch is February 5, 2020.
The SPICE instrument
The Solar Orbiter has another trick up its sleeve. An international consortium of experts created an instrument named SPICE, led by Dr. Fludra. SPICE is short for Spectral Imaging of the Coronal Mass Environment. SPICE is not the only instrument of the Space Orbiter, and 9 other instruments will be carried by the spacecraft.
For those who do not know yet, SPICE is a telescope with some special property. SPICE was designed to image the corona of the sun. “RAL Space made a large contribution to SPICE and led the international consortium. We contributed our extensive expertise in many scientific and engineering areas,” explained Dr. Flurdra.