Friday, April 27, 2012

Europe Solar Orbiter Moves Ahead With De-scoped NASA Participation

Europe Solar Orbiter Moves Ahead With De-scoped NASA Participation
Posted by Amy Svitak 5:27 AM on Apr 27, 2012
NASA's funding woes continue to have an impact on the European Space Agency (ESA) as it presses ahead with plans to launch a next-generation solar probe in 2017.
NASA was expected to provide up to four instruments and a launch vehicle to ESA's Solar Orbiter Collaboration, a robotic sun probe designed to help scientists understand the causes of space weather and provide the closest-ever view of the sun during the spacecraft's seven-year design life.
But rising launch costs coupled with flat spending in the U.S. forced NASA last year to pare back its Solar Orbiter commitment, leaving ESA to fund two instruments – the Suprathermal Ion Spectrograph and Spectral Imaging of the Coronal Environment – on its own.


Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
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