As the Solar Orbiter mission approaches Venus for a flyby, the UK has praised it as a “global science superpower.”

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As the Solar Orbiter mission approaches Venus for a flyby, the UK has praised it as a “global science superpower.”

On the eve of a crucial space exploration milestone, Science Minister Amanda Solloway commended the UK’s contributions to the international scientific community, telling This website that the country is a “global superpower.”

The Solar Orbiter, which was manufactured in the United Kingdom, is speeding deep into the solar system in preparation for a historic double flyby of Venus. The solar physics spacecraft will fly around the globe on Monday, on a route that will return it to Earth in November. On its way to Mercury, the European and Japanese BepiColombo probe will execute a similar maneuver just 33 hours later.

The gravity-assisted flyby is one of many that the Solar Orbiter will make on its way to the Sun.

The spacecraft, which was built in Stevenage by Airbus, has ten cutting-edge equipment that will investigate the Sun’s plasma and magnetic fields in great detail as well as take close-up photos of its polar regions.

Although Solar Orbiter is a collaboration between the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA, the United Kingdom has played a key role in the development of the spacecraft and several of its subsystems.

SPICE, a high-resolution spectrometer created by an international team led by RAL Space at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire, is one of these instruments.

Dr. Andrzej Fludra, the project’s lead scientist, recently told This website that Solar Orbiter is a “world-class mission” that would define the study of solar physics in the future decade.

Ms. Solloway has now indicated that the United Kingdom’s contributions to the mission represent the finest of what the country has to offer.

“As Solar Orbiter and BepiColombo journey deeper into our solar system, we are reminded of the amazing synergy between the UK’s world-leading researchers and our inventive space industry,” she told this website.

“These UK-backed missions take us one step closer to understanding how our celestial neighbors formed, allowing us to learn more about our planet while supporting our economy, creating jobs, and cementing the UK’s status as a global science superpower.” Solar Orbiter is expected to pass Venus at 5.42 a.m. BST (4.42 a.m. UTC) on June 9.

After first nearing the planet in December 2020, this will be the probe’s second pass.

This will be followed by a “unusual” flyby of Earth later this year, according to Dr Fludra.

“You may question, ‘Why have you been traveling for 22 months?” he explained.Brinkwire Summary News

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