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NASA-ESA probe blasts off for the sun's poles

Video credit: Reuters Studio
Published on February 10, 2020 - Duration: 01:25s

NASA-ESA probe blasts off for the sun's poles

The Solar Orbiter, built by NASA and the European Space Agency set off on an unprecedented mission to the sun, expected to yield insight into how solar radiant energy affects Earth.

Soraya Ali reports.

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NASA-ESA probe blasts off for the sun's poles

A new space probe has blasted off from Earth to begin a blazingly hot journey to the sun.

The Solar Orbiter, built by NASA and the European Space agency is on a 10-year-voyage with the aim of taking a close up look at the sun's poles.

The minivan-sized spacecraft lifted off from Cape Canaveral in Florida and is expected to reach as close as 26 million miles from the sun's surface.

Paolo Ferri is the Head of the European Space agency's operations department (SOUNDBITE) (English) HEAD OF ESA'S MISSION OPERATIONS DEPARTMENT AT EUROPEAN SPACE OPERATIONS CENTRE, PAOLO FERRI, SAYING: "The goal of Solar Orbiter is of course to understand better the sun and understand in particular the processes that occur inside the sun and on the surface of the sun which also affect directly our life on earth: for example the solar wind, the cycle of the sun, the solar cycle with solar spots, the magnetic field of the sun.

There is a lot that we observe from Earth but we don't necessarily understand how this phenomenon is generated and this is the purpose of the mission." Solar wind can negatively impact satellites and electronics here on Earth.

The mission also hopes to learn more about how to protect astronauts from radiation in space.

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