The space probe “Solar Orbiter” has reached the point closest to the Sun in its journey through space, which has already taken two years. The Sun has approached nearly 48 million km, the European Space Agency (ESA) announced today. This distance is less than a third of the distance between the Earth and the Sun.
Thus, the “solar probe” came closer to the center of the solar system than any space probe before it. The mission should yield new images of the star. The cost of the mission is about 1.5 billion euros, funded by the European Space Agency and the US space agency NASA. There are ten scientific instruments on board the 1.8-ton orbiter.
As early as June 2020, the probe flew to a distance of 77 million kilometers from the Sun and took pictures of mysterious “fires” on the star. Solar Orbiter’s current elliptical orbit will change slightly over the next three years: the spacecraft will reach its closest point to the Sun every six months. During the next pass, scheduled for October, the space probe will fly within 42 million kilometers from the sun.
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