ESA’s new Sun-explorer, Solar Orbiter, will capture close-up images of never before seen regions of our parent star, including the poles, and study the electromagnetic environment in its vicinity. The cutting-edge spacecraft will get as close as 42 million kilometres away from the Sun, about a quarter of the distance between the Sun and Earth, and face scorching temperatures of up to 500°C.
ESA has a long history of studying the Sun from space. Since the launch of Ulysses in 1990, the agency has led or cooperated on several Sun-exploring missions including SOHO, the Cluster quartet and Proba-2.
The video provides a summary of ESA’s past and present Sun-exploring ventures, which have transformed our understanding of the star.
The A and B roll features ESA’s archive material tracing the agency’s past missions to the Sun.
The B roll contains new cleanroom footage showing the early stages of integration of Solar Orbiter into the upper stage of the Atlas V launcher.
The B-roll also contains newly re-digitised ESA archive material.