Sun  ID: 4653

Parker Solar Probe and Solar Orbiter Trajectories

The next missions scheduled for detailed studies of the Sun and solar atmosphere are Parker Solar Probe and Solar Orbiter.

Parker Solar Probe, launched August 12, 2018, moves in a highly-elliptical orbit, using gravity-assists from Venus to move the orbit perihelion closer to the Sun with each pass. The goal is to get the spacecraft to fly through the corona at a distance of 9.5 solar radii. Primary science operations are conducted when the spacecraft is within 0.25 astronomical units (AUs) from the Sun, so that portion of the orbit is colored red. The nominal end of mission for Parker Solar Probe is 2025, so the orbit fades away after that year.

Solar Orbiter uses a series of Earth and Venus gravity assists to move its orbit perihelion (the closest distance from the Sun) to a distance inside the orbit of Mercury for detailed solar monitoring. The primary science operations for Solar Orbiter are conducted when the spacecraft is within 0.5 AUs from the Sun.

The visualizations below were generated before the launch of Parker Solar Probe, assuming a launch date of July 31. 2018. They are included here for reference.

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Visualization Credits

Tom Bridgman (Global Science and Technology, Inc.): Lead Visualizer
Karen Fox (ADNET Systems, Inc.): Producer
Angelos Vourlidas (Johns Hopkins University/APL): Scientist
William T. Thompson (ADNET Systems, Inc.): Scientist
Holly Gilbert (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Chris St. Cyr (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Geoffrey F. Brown (Johns Hopkins University/APL): Scientist
Ian Jones (ADNET Systems, Inc.): Technical Support
Laurence Schuler (ADNET Systems, Inc.): Technical Support
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio

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Parker Solar Probe
Solar Orbiter Collaboration

Data Used:
SPICE Ephemerides also referred to as: SPICE Ephemerides
Ephemeris - NASA/JPL - Parker Solar Probe: 2018/07/31-2025/09/01; Solar Orbiter: 2020/02/07-2030/09/01
Satellite and planetary ephemerides
DE 431
Ephemeris - JPL
Planetary ephemerides SPICE kernel
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

SVS >> Hyperwall
SVS >> Heliophysics
SVS >> Corona
SVS >> Satellite Orbit
NASA Science >> Sun
SVS >> Solar Probe Plus
SVS >> Solar Orbiter
SVS >> Coronal Heating
SVS >> Parker Solar Probe