RECENT STUDIES - Solar Orbiter
The Solar Orbiter mission study was conducted from 3 March 2004 through to the Internal Final Presentation on 17 March 2004, at the request of the Science Payloads and Advanced Concepts Office. The purpose of the Solar Orbiter mission is to explore the uncharted innermost regions of our Solar System, to study the Sun from close-up (0.21 AU) and to provide images of the Sun’s polar regions from heliographic latitudes as high as 38°.
The Solar Orbiter mission was approved in October 2000 by ESA's Science Programme Committee as a flexi-mission for launch in the 2008-2013 time-frame.
Making close-up high-resolution studies of our Sun and inner heliosphere, Solar Orbiter is intended to brave the fierce heat and carry its telescopes to just one-fifth of the Earth's distance from our nearest star.