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back to article Europe to launch bold Sun swoop mission

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 …

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Coat

By going at night?!

I'll get me....

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Stop

Arianne 5?

>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?

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Mushroom

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.

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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.

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Mushroom

Set the controls for the Heart of the Sun

Pink Floyd rules!

Or at least runs ESA

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Coat

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...

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