Imperial College London

Solar Orbiter scientists on seeing rocket launch: “I will remember it forever”

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In new video diaries, Helen O’Brien and Tim Horbury share what it’s like to see a project you have been working on for years launch into space.

Solar Orbiter launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida on 10 February 2020, carrying ten instruments to study the Sun like never before. Among them was a magnetometer instrument built at Imperial, which took some of the first data following launch.

Principal Investigator Professor Tim Horbury and Instrument Manager Helen O’Brien took a couple of cameras with them to watch the launch, capturing the days surrounding lift-off.

Watch the video above to share their excitement, from meeting the public and watching the rocket roll out, to feeling the rumble of launch and seeing their instrument finally doing the job it was designed for more than a decade ago.

Find out more about the Solar Orbiter mission and Imperial's involvement in our interactive feature.


Mariana Kneppers

Mariana Kneppers
Centre for Languages, Culture and Communication

Hayley Dunning

Hayley Dunning
Communications and Public Affairs

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Strategy-share-the-wonder, Space
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