Solar Physics

, Volume 285, Issue 1–2, pp 25–70 | Cite as

Solar Orbiter

Exploring the Sun–Heliosphere Connection
  • D. MüllerEmail author
  • R. G. Marsden
  • O. C. St. Cyr
  • H. R. Gilbert
  • The Solar Orbiter Team


The heliosphere represents a uniquely accessible domain of space, where fundamental physical processes common to solar, astrophysical and laboratory plasmas can be studied under conditions impossible to reproduce on Earth and unfeasible to observe from astronomical distances. Solar Orbiter, the first mission of ESA’s Cosmic Vision 2015 – 2025 programme, will address the central question of heliophysics: How does the Sun create and control the heliosphere? In this paper, we present the scientific goals of the mission and provide an overview of the mission implementation.


Sun Heliosphere Corona Dynamics Magnetic fields 



Contributions to this paper were provided by the PIs and Co-PIs, the ESA Solar Orbiter Project Team, the NASA Solar Orbiter Collaboration Project Team, E. Marsch (MPS Lindau), M. Velli (JPL/U. Firenze), C. DeForest (SwRI Boulder), D. Hassler (SwRI Boulder) and W. Lewis (SwRI San Antonio). The authors would like to thank the referee, guest editor and journal editors for comments and suggestions, which helped to improve the quality of this work.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Müller
    • 1
    Email author
  • R. G. Marsden
    • 1
  • O. C. St. Cyr
    • 2
  • H. R. Gilbert
    • 2
  • The Solar Orbiter Team
  1. 1.European Space AgencyESTECNoordwijkThe Netherlands
  2. 2.NASA Goddard Space Flight CenterGreenbeltUSA

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