Watch Live: Solar Orbiter Launch From Cape Canaveral

Atlas V Rocket with Solar Orbiter Spacecraft

The United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with the Solar Orbiter spacecraft arrives at the launch pad at Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on February 8, 2020. Credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

Update: If you missed the live coverage, watch the Solar Orbiter Liftoff Video.

Note: ESA is also offering live coverage of the Solar Orbiter launch.

NASA is targeting 11:03 p.m. EST Sunday, February 9, for the launch of Solar Orbiter, an international collaborative mission between ESA (European Space Agency) and NASA. The spacecraft will launch on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 411 rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida.

Live launch coverage will begin on NASA Television and NASA Live at 10:30 p.m. EST Sunday, February 9, 2020.

Atlas V 411 Launching Solar Orbiter Into Space

Artist’s impression of an Atlas V 411 launching Solar Orbiter into space. Credit: ESA/ATG medialab

Solar Orbiter will observe the Sun with high spatial resolution telescopes and capture observations in the environment directly surrounding the spacecraft to create a one-of-a-kind picture of how the Sun can affect the space environment throughout our solar system. The spacecraft also will provide the first-ever images of the Sun’s poles and the never-before-observed magnetic environment there, which helps drive the Sun’s 11-year solar cycle and its periodic outpouring of solar storms.

Solar Orbiter Launch Fairing Separation

Artist’s impression of the fairing encapsulating Solar Orbiter being released following launch on an Atlas V 411. Credit: ESA/ATG medialab

The United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying the Solar Orbiter spacecraft has made its final move on Earth: the short journey from the Vertical Integration Facility to the launch pad at Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Liftoff is targeted for 11:03 p.m. EST on Sunday, February 9. There is a two-hour launch window.

The weather forecast for launch time calls for favorable conditions. Meteorologists with the U.S. Air Force 45th Space Wing continue to predict an 80% chance of weather cooperating for launch.

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