NASA's solar orbiter lifts off

NASA's solar orbiter lifts off


The Solar Orbiter, the international collaborative mission between NASA and ESA (European Space Agency), successfully lifted off onboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 411 rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida.

The Solar Orbiter mission main's objective is to observe the Sun with high spatial resolution telescopes which are fitted on the Orbiter. The mission will also capture observations in the environment directly surrounding the spacecraft to create a one-of-a-kind picture of how the Sun can affect the space environment throughout our solar system.

Soon after the successful liftoff, the Atlas V’s single solid rocket booster was jettisoned, and the vehicle was performing as expected.

This is an approximately eight-minute burn. The payload fairing, having protected the spacecraft in the early minutes of flight, has separated and fallen away as planned,' NASA added in an update.

'The spacecraft also will provide the first-ever images of the Sun’s poles and the never-before-observed magnetic environment there, which helps drive the Sun’s 11-year solar cycle and its periodic outpouring of solar storms.'.