The European Space Agency hopes to blast into space a probe that will get closer to the Sun than any other craft has managed. solar_orbiter_esa Artist's impression of Solar Orbiter. Photo by European Space Agency The ESA said on Tuesday it aims to launch the Solar Orbiter from Cape Canaveral on a NASA-provided Atlas rocket in …
By going at night?!
I'll get me....
>NASA-provided Atlas rocket in 2017, launch on a Soyuz rocket in 2019
Why doesn't the European Space Agency use a European company to launch its satellites?
I'm guess that's because the idea is to get them into space, rather than have them converted into a selection of heavily singed spacecraft components somewhere between here and there.
I think that Arianne is a bit overkill for this, and it probably won't have a launch vector that can be easily shared (normally Arianne launches 2 large sats and possibly a few other bits in a single launch; except for ATV which is bloody heavy, and the new James Webb telescope).
There is an option to launch using a Soyez from Guianna instead, but the Soyez is a bit tight on the launch mass with not much margin.
Maybe they could've scaled SOLO up a bit and included more instruments, but that would've upped the cost, and ESA is not exactly rolling around with money.
Set the controls for the Heart of the Sun
Pink Floyd rules!
Or at least runs ESA
So are Disaster Area playing The Earth...?
"Ship locked into stage computer A-OK. Stand by for Sun Dive."
Mine's the one with the Electronic sub-etha Thumb in the pocket...