February 9, A small spacecraft embarked on an unprecedented journey into space-closer to the sun than any other man-made object.
The Solar Orbiter has been flying in space for nearly a year, and on December 27, it completed the first stop of its journey: a short overflight of Venus, which will provide power for the second half of the spacecraft.
This is the background- The Solar Orbiter is a collaboration between NASA and the European Space Agency. Its mission is to answer some unresolved but basic questions of scientists about the sun. What drives the solar wind? How does the sun̵
Using the gravitational propulsion generated by the overflight of the Earth and Venus, the spacecraft will reach the target vantage point of the sun in about two years.
what is new – The mission’s scientists announced on Twitter that on Sunday, the solar orbiter used Venus’s gravity to slightly brake and move it toward the sun’s precise trajectory.
During the flyby, the spacecraft collected valuable data on the most terrifying planets in the solar system, and scientists were eager to dive into it. The mission’s scientists predict that, based on their Twitter updates, it will take several days to fully analyze this information.
The solar orbiter collects magnetometer, particle, plasma, and radio data, which can provide insights into how Venus interacts with the solar wind.
What’s next- This is the first Venus flyby, the solar orbiter will return to the asteroid every few times around the sun to adjust its path. The next Venus flyby of the Solar Orbiter is scheduled for August 2021.
In early June, the spacecraft approached the sun for the first time, about 48 million miles from the surface of the star, about half the distance between the sun and the earth.
By 2025, the solar orbiter will bypass the sun for the first time with an inclination of 17 degrees, and the inclination will increase to 33 degrees by the end of this century. This will make the polar regions of the sun directly visible.
The solar orbiter is designed to make the most accurate measurement of the sun’s solar wind and capture the sun’s magnetic poles from high altitude for the first time. To this end, it uses a brand-new technology that can withstand the heat of the sun.
The spacecraft carries 10 scientific instruments. Six of them are remotely sensed and can capture images of the sun, while the remaining four are in-situ instruments that will measure the environment around the spacecraft composed of solar wind, plasma and particles.
The solar orbiter will orbit the sun in an elliptical orbit, completing an orbit every 168 days.
Eventually, it will travel outside the solar system and stare down at the sun, imaging stars from high altitude. From its unique perspective, the vehicle will capture the first image of the solar poles, allowing scientists to better understand how the sun’s magnetic field affects solar activity.