May 26, 2022

Live coverage: Atlas 5 launches from Cape Canaveral with Solar Orbiter

February 8, 2020

A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral’s Complex 41 launch pad Sunday night with the European Space Agency’s Solar Orbiter mission, a project developed in partnership with NASA. Launch occurred right on time at the opening of a two-hour window at 11:03 p.m. EST Sunday (0403 GMT Monday).

Decades in the making, Solar Orbiter finally meets launcher at Cape Canaveral

February 1, 2020

The European-built Solar Orbiter spacecraft was installed on top of its United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 launcher Friday at Cape Canaveral, ready for final charging and checkouts before liftoff Feb. 9 to finally begin a more than $1.5 billion science mission first approved by the European Space Agency nearly 20 years ago.

Solar Orbiter launch delayed to Feb. 7

January 26, 2020

Officials have delayed the launch of a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket with the European-built Solar Orbiter spacecraft from Cape Canaveral by two days to Feb. 7, a ripple effect from time spent fixing a minor issue last week during a launch vehicle countdown dress rehearsal.

ULA team completes countdown practice run before Solar Orbiter launch

January 24, 2020

United Launch Alliance teams loaded super-cold liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen into an Atlas 5 rocket Friday at Cape Canaveral during a countdown dress rehearsal for a planned launch next month with the Solar Orbiter mission, a robotic spacecraft to study the origins of the solar wind and image the sun’s poles for the first time.

Photos: Solar Orbiter encapsulated inside launch shroud

January 24, 2020

The Airbus-built Solar Orbiter spacecraft has been closed up inside the payload fairing of a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket in preparation for liftoff from Cape Canaveral in February on a joint mission between the European Space Agency and NASA.

Atlas 5 for Solar Orbiter launch returns to assembly building for inspections

January 22, 2020

United Launch Alliance moved its next Atlas 5 rocket off its Florida launch pad Wednesday for inspections after a cooling duct unexpectedly disconnected before a planned countdown rehearsal to prepare for liftoff next month with the joint U.S.-European Solar Orbiter mission. The roll back to the Vertical Integration Facility at Cape Canaveral’s Complex 41 launch pad could delay Solar Orbiter’s liftoff, which was scheduled for Feb. 5

Stacking of ULA’s next Atlas 5 rocket begins at Cape Canaveral

January 6, 2020

United Launch Alliance teams began stacking an Atlas 5 rocket inside a vertical hangar at Cape Canaveral Monday in preparation for an early February launch with the Solar Orbiter spacecraft, a joint U.S.-European probe that will take the first pictures of the sun’s poles.

Solar Orbiter arrives at Kennedy Space Center for launch preps

November 2, 2019

The European-built Solar Orbiter spacecraft arrived in Florida late Friday after a trans-Atlantic journey from a test center in Germany, ready to begin preparations for a liftoff from Cape Canaveral in February aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket.

British-built solar probe shipping to Florida launch site before Brexit deadline

October 22, 2019

The European Space Agency’s Solar Orbiter spacecraft — assembled in Britain and set for liftoff in February — has completed environmental testing in Germany and is scheduled to ride a cargo plane to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida to begin launch preparations Oct. 31, several weeks earlier than planned to avoid complications stemming from Brexit.

NASA’s resilient Van Allen Probes shut down

October 20, 2019

Ground controllers transmitted commands to shut down the second of NASA’s Van Allen Probes on Friday, three months after turning off an identical satellite to conclude a seven-year mission that explored the donut-shaped radiation belts surrounding Earth.

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