Satellite sunscreen gives Irish firm space to grow

At 26 million miles from the sun, the European Space Agency’s Solar Orbiter, scheduled to launch in February, will face temperatures above 500 Celsius, and needed a solution to prevent it burning up

27th July, 2018
A European Space Agency satellite. Pic: Getty

The European Space Agency (ESA) had a problem: a satellite it was building to study solar flares and wind risked burning up as it reached its final orbit, nearer to the sun than Mercury’s closest approach.

At 26 million miles from our neighbourhood star, the ESA’s Solar Orbiter, scheduled to launch in February, will face temperatures above 500 Celsius. In such intense heat, traditional coatings made from organic compounds break down and form...

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