ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet’s message from the International Space Station for the day ESA’s Sun monitor ‘Solar’ was turned off after almost ten years of service.
Solar’s observations are improving our understanding of the Sun and allowing scientists to create accurate computer models and predict its behaviour.
To predict how Sun behaves, scientists create complex computer models to build a virtual star. With more observations, scientists can fine-tune their models. Modelling and predicting the Sun’s activity with precision is an important step towards understanding humankind’s effect on Earth’s climate.
Between 2012 and 2016, the Space Station turned itself five times to position Solar so that it could track the Sun without interruption for a complete solar day – around a month of Earth days.
Thomas is spending six months on the International Space Station as part of his Proxima mission. During Proxima, Thomas will perform around 50 scientific experiments for ESA and France’s space agency CNES as well as take part in many research activities for the other Station partners. The mission is part of ESA’s vision to use Earth-orbiting spacecraft as a place to live and work for the benefit of European society while using the experience to prepare for future voyages of exploration further into the Solar System.
Connect with Thomas Pesquet: http://thomaspesquet.esa.int