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NASA Invites Media to Launch of Solar Orbiter Spacecraft

ESA’s (European Space Agency’s) Solar Orbiter, shown here in an artist’s rendition illustration against backdrop image of Sun
Scheduled to launch in February 2020, ESA’s (European Space Agency’s) Solar Orbiter spacecraft is shown in an illustration against the backdrop of an image of the Sun captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. Solar Orbiter will capture the very first images of the Sun’s polar regions. These images will provide key insights into the poorly-understood magnetic environment there, which helps drive the Sun’s 11-year cycle and its periodic outpouring of solar storms. Credits: ESA/ATG MediaLab/NASA

NASA has opened media accreditation for the Feb. 5, 2020, launch of Solar Orbiter – a joint NASA/ESA (European Space Agency) mission that will address central questions concerning our star, the Sun.

Media prelaunch and launch activities will take place at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida and neighboring Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. To attend these activities, international media must apply for credentials by 4:30 p.m. EST Dec. 8. U.S. media must apply by 4:30 p.m. Jan. 12, 2020.

All media accreditation requests must be submitted online at:

For questions about accreditation, please email For other questions, contact Kennedy’s newsroom at 321-867-2468.

The spacecraft will launch at 11:15 p.m. on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 411 rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral. NASA’s Launch Services Program is managing the launch.

As the main driver of space weather, it is essential to understand the behavior of the Sun to learn how to better safeguard our planet, space technology and astronauts. Solar Orbiter will study the Sun, its outer atmosphere and what drives the constant outflow of solar wind which affects Earth. The spacecraft will observe the Sun’s atmosphere up close with high spatial resolution telescopes and compare these observations to measurements taken in the environment directly surrounding the spacecraft – together creating a one-of-a-kind picture of how the Sun can affect the space environment throughout the solar system.

For more information on the Solar Orbiter mission, visit:


Grey Hautaluoma / Karen Fox
Headquarters, Washington
202-358-0668 / 301-286-6284 /
Mary MacLaughlin
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.