October 1, 2020

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.

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