11 votes
Accepted

Why is the Heat Shield of ESA's Solar Orbiter Black in colour?

Apparently, black was chosen despite its thermal properties. This 2005 paper was written at the end of the assessment phase where technical feasibility of the mission has been demonstrated. It shows ...
  • 122k
8 votes
Accepted

Was solar newbie Solar Orbiter able to get "closer" to the Sun than Parker Solar Probe so quickly?

Other spacecraft have been closer, but none have carried Sun-facing imagers. Source: The link you provided ("Other spacecraft" is linked to an article about Parker Solar Probe) Q: Or did ...
  • 2,919
5 votes
Accepted

Why did ESA's Solar Orbiter mission's target inclination drop from 34 to 25°?

Nothing changed. Note that your plot covers 10 years and not 7. You cited a line from Wikipedia, but didn't check the source given for it: The nominal mission of seven years will see a maximum ...
  • 13.5k
4 votes

Was solar newbie Solar Orbiter able to get "closer" to the Sun than Parker Solar Probe so quickly?

Check these visualizations from NASA. Solar Orbiter will never get as close as Parker Solar Probe perihelion. That's why it can operate a camera pointed directly into the Sun and why it didn't have to ...
  • 2,319
4 votes

Why did ESA's Solar Orbiter mission's target inclination drop from 34 to 25°?

But the article in Wikipedia is rather outdated. The sequence of flybys for actual Feb 2020 launch is different than for planned 2017 launch. The ratio of orbital periods of Earth and Venus can't be ...
  • 8,556
3 votes
Accepted

What is ESA's Solar Orbiter's target inclination?

The inclination will be adjusted a few times during the mission: The nominal mission of seven years will see a maximum orbital inclination relative to the solar equator of 25°. During the extended ...
  • 122k
1 vote

What is ESA's Solar Orbiter's target inclination?

From Solar Orbiter: Exploring the Sun-heliosphere connection (ArXiv, Researchgate, and published in Solar Physics) Figure 3 shows the solar latitude of the spacecraft versus time, and the extrema ...
  • 148k

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