The Solar Orbiter probe that will photograph the sun’s poles was launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida just after 5 am on Monday morning.
The project is one of the European Space Agency’s most ambitious. With its partner NASA, it hopes the probe can provide new knowledge about the sun’s atmosphere, wind and magnetic fields. In addition, the probe will be the first to photograph the sun’s poles.
After about an hour, the probe detached from the launcher. The probe will pass Venus and Mercury before it reaches a maximum speed of 245,000 km/h and enters orbit about 42 million kilometers from the sun’s surface. The research itself is expected to start in late 2021 before the space probe first arrives around the sun’s orbit in 2022.
The project will also investigate other stars in order to be able to map the possibilities of housing in other solar systems.
The probe, which has a price tag of almost 14 billion kroner, is made in Europe. Several Norwegian players have contributed to the project: Kongsberg Defense & Aerospace, the company Bitvis and solar researchers at the University of Oslo.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today