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Solar Orbiter’s shield takes Sun’s heat

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Solar Orbiter’s shield takes Sun’s heat

3 June 2014 ESA’s Solar Orbiter mission has undergone its latest major test: its protective shield has been subjected to concentrated sunlight to prove it can cope with the fierce temperatures close in to our parent star.

A ‘structural–thermal’ version of the craft’s sunshield was recently exposed to an artificial Sun for two weeks in Europe’s largest vacuum chamber at ESA’s Technical Centre in Noordwijk, the Netherlands.

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