The Spacecraft

The Solar Orbiter spacecraft is a Sun-pointed, 3-axis stabilized platform, with a dedicated heat shield to provide protection from the high levels of solar flux near perihelion. Feed-throughs in the heat shield (with individual doors) provide the remote-sensing instruments with their required fields-of-view to the Sun. Single-sided solar arrays provide the required power throughout the mission over the wide range of distances from the Sun and can be rotated about their longitudinal axis to manage the array temperature, particularly important during closest approach to the Sun.

Payload accommodation onboard Solar Orbiter. In this rendering, one side wall has been removed to expose the remote-sensing instruments mounted on the payload panel. The SPICE instrument (not visible) is mounted to the top panel from below.