Space & Astronomy
ESA planning ambitious mission to the Sun
By T.K. Randall
October 5, 2011 · 11 comments
Image Credit: ESA
The European Space Agency will send a spacecraft to within 42 million km of our star.
Known as Solar Orbiter, the probe will cost almost 1 billion Euros and launch in 2017. It will spend time collecting data about the Sun's magnetic fields and energetic particles at temperatures of over 500 degrees. "Solar Orbiter is not so much about taking high-resolution pictures of the Sun, although we'll get those; it's about getting close and joining up what happens on the Sun with what happens in space," said lead scientist Tim Horbury.
Europe is to lead the most ambitious space mission ever undertaken to study the behaviour of the Sun. Known as Solar Orbiter, the probe will have to operate a mere 42 million km from our star - closer than any spacecraft to date.
Source: BBC News
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