NASA to Broadcast Solar Orbiter Launch, Prelaunch Activities


Solar Orbiter facing the sun, graphic.

NASA is targeting 11:03 p.m. EST Sunday, Feb. 9, for the launch of Solar Orbiter, an international collaborative mission between ESA (European Space Agency) and NASA. The spacecraft will launch on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 411 rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida.

Live coverage will begin on NASA Television and the agencyswebsite Friday, Feb. 7, with prelaunch events.

Solar Orbiter will observe the Sun with high spatial resolution telescopes and capture observations in the environment directly surrounding the spacecraft to create a one-of-a-kind picture of how the Sun can affect the space environment throughout our solar system. The spacecraft also will provide the first-ever images of the Suns poles and the never-before-observed magnetic environment there, which helps drive the Suns 11-year solar cycle and its periodic outpouring of solar storms.

Full mission coverage is as follows (all times Eastern):

Friday, Feb. 7

1 p.m.: Prelaunch news conference with representatives from NASA, ESA, United Launch Alliance, Airbus Defence and Space, and the U.S. Air Forces 45th Space Wing.

2:30 p.m.: Science Briefing with representatives from NASA and ESA

Media prelaunch and launch activities will take place at CCAFS and NASAs nearby Kennedy Space Center. Media accreditation deadlines have closed. Media who would like to call in for the prelaunch press conference and science briefing should phone the Kennedy News Center at 321-867-2468 no later than 12:45 p.m. Feb. 7.

Sunday, Feb. 9

10:30 p.m.: Launch coverage begins

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