Members of the media were given the opportunity to view and photograph the Solar Orbiter spacecraft up close inside the Astrotech Space Operations payload processing facility in Titusville, Florida, on Dec. 16, 2019. Representatives from NASA’s Launch Services Program (LSP), the European Space Agency (ESA), United Launch Alliance (ULA), Airbus Defence and Space, and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center provided an overview of the mission, spacecraft and launch vehicle.
Solar Orbiter is a space mission of international collaboration between ESA and NASA, and the spacecraft has been developed by Airbus. The mission will study the Sun and how it can affect the space environment throughout the solar system, and it also will provide the first images of the Sun’s poles. Solar Orbiter is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 41 aboard a ULA Atlas V rocket at 11:27 p.m. EST on Feb. 5, 2020. LSP will manage the launch.