Solar Orbiter heat shield attached
23 March 2015
Solar Orbiter is the next major space mission for studying the Sun, and is due to launch in 2018.
The Solar Orbiter mission passed a major milestone on Friday 13th March when the heat shield was attached to the engineering model. Solar Orbiter is the next major space mission for studying the Sun, and is due to launch in 2018. Using a highly elliptical orbit, the Solar Orbiter spacecraft will get to within 0.3 AU away from the Sun and as such it requires a heat shield to protect the delicate electronics and instruments from the full effects of the extreme environment it will face there. MSSL has a significant involvement in the Solar Orbiter mission on both the remote sensing and in-situ sides. On the remote sensing side, the electronics box for the Extreme Ultraviolet Imager (EUI) is being built at MSSL, while on the in-situ side, MSSL is the Principle Investigator institute for the Solar Wind Analyser suite of instruments. The photo attached shows the heat shield on the left and on the right, Prof. Louise Harra (EUI Co-PI) and Prof. Chris Owen (SWA PI) at Astrium in Stevenage to see the Solar Orbiter heat shield being attached.