Russian ASAT test adds risk to Solar Orbiter’s super close Earth flyby

A solar probe on a mission to take the closest ever images of the sun will pass incredibly close to Earth today, but debris from the recent Russian anti-satellite missile test will make its visit more risky and unpredictable. 

The European Space Agency’s (ESA) Solar Orbiter spacecraft will zoom just 285 miles (460 kilometers) above Earth’s surface on Friday at 11:30 pm EST (Saturday, 4:30 GMT). This close encounter, a maneuver called flyby, will help nudge the satellite closer to the sun so that it can commence its scientific exploration of the star. 

Source link