“We’re going to make beautiful science.”
Nothing captures the launch of the ESA Solar Orbiter better than the words of Dr. Nicola Fox, NASA’s Heliophysics Division Director, who I had the opportunity to meet in 2020.
On a moonlit night in February 2020, NASA facilitated a gorgeous launch of a spacecraft that was 20 years in the making. The Solar Orbiter will work in tandem with the Parker Solar Probe to uncover new discoveries about our star, capturing the first images of the sun’s poles.
This historic event was also a first for me, as I witnessed a live rocket launch for the first time! I had the distinct honor of serving as a NASA Social Media Ambassador, which allowed me to go behind the scenes at the Kennedy Space Center and witness ongoing operations in the company of astronauts and rocket scientists. The experience was awe-inspiring!
On this page, I’ll share my adventures as part of the NASA Social. Take a look around!
Covering the Launch
These publications have featured the launch and my eye-witness account!
- Astro Bob’s Astronomy for Everyone: 3-2-1-0 We Have Solar Orbiter Liftoff!
- Aurorasaurus: Holey Corona, Batman!
- More to come!
A NASA Social
From Space Flight Now and the NASA Social to updates from reporters and mission leadership, social media is bursting with news about space exploration. Browse the content that’s been shared by myself and others!
- Follow the social media buzz for #NASASocial on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
- Listen to a music playlist inspired by the launch: Songs for the Heliosphere
- A Facebook Photo Album: NASA Behind the Scenes
- A Facebook Photo Album: NASA Social! Launch Day
- Facebook Live Video of the Solar Orbiter Launch
- From Arielle Katarina: Launch Video on Facebook
- From Jared Frankle: YouTube Video of the Launch
- From Milo Beasley: Behind-the-scenes video at NASA
Adventures as an Aurora Chaser
The Solar Orbiter will study our star, which gives birth to the solar matter that leads to Aurora Borealis. Check out these adventures in aurora chasing!
- The Aurora Summit: An annual event explores space weather, aurora & astrophotography
- Join a group based in the U.S. for Aurora and Night Sky Adventures
Want to know more about the mission or the programs involved? Browse the links below.
- Find out how you can attend a NASA Social:
- Learn how scientists will use the Solar Orbiter:
- Present your knowledge and experiences at an annual retreat: https://theaurorasummit.com/get-involved/
Photo courtesy of NASA.