Solar Orbiter is scheduled to launch on an Atlas V 411 rocket from Cape Canaveral in Florida, USA, at 05:03 CET on 10 February 2020 (23:03 EST on 9 February).
The spacecraft will separate from the launcher around 53 minutes after launch, followed by acquisition of spacecraft signal. In the days after launch, the instrument boom and antennas will be deployed.
Solar Orbiter is a space mission of international collaboration between ESA and NASA. Its mission is to perform unprecedented close-up observations of the Sun and from high-latitudes, providing the first images of the uncharted polar regions of the Sun, and investigating the Sun-Earth connection. Data from the spacecraft’s suite of ten instruments will provide unprecedented insight into how our parent star works in terms of the 11-year solar cycle, and how we can better predict periods of stormy space weather.
Note: This graphic was updated on 7 February 2020.