• 10.02.2020
  • Space
  • Media release

RUAG Space: Key products for Sun Explorer Solar Orbiter – including the first U.S. flight hardware

On 9th/10th February, a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket with Sun Explorer Solar Orbiter took off from Cape Canaveral, Florida. RUAG Space supplied the Interstage Adapter – the first RUAG Space flight hardware out of its Decatur, Alabama manufacturing plant....

The Solar Orbiter is a joint ESA/NASA collaboration. The satellite will get very close to the Sun. It will be the first satellite to provide close-up images of the Sun’s polar regions. It will study the solar wind, the so-called space weather, as well as all layers of the Sun, except its core.

Other safe and delicate release thanks to RUAG Space

During ascent, the Solar Orbiter will sit safely on a RUAG payload adapter and separation system (PAS). This legacy payload and separation system will ensure a low shock and precise release of the satellite once it reaches its final orbit.

First RUAG Space flight hardware out of our Decatur

The Interstage Adapter for the 400 series Atlas V launch vehicle will be the first RUAG Space flight hardware out of our Decatur, Alabama manufacturing plant. The 400-ISA connects the booster to the Centaur upperstage.

RUAG Space on board

RUAG Space has various parts on board Solar Orbiter. “We have delivered key components, which enable this important science mission. Our computer controls the satellite, stores all scientific data, and communicates with Earth, our thermal insulation keeps it at the right temperature and our structures hold it stable,” says Peter Guggenbach, Executive Vice President, RUAG Space.

Due to its extreme proximity to the Sun, Solar Orbiter’s heat shield will be exposed to 13 times more solar radiation than on Earth. Some parts of the spacecraft will reach extremely high temperatures up to several hundred degrees Celsius. RUAG Space has developed a special thermal insulation for these conditions, meeting exactly the requirements for Solar Orbiter. This means extremely high temperatures up to several hundred degrees Celsius. RUAG Space has supplied the spacecraft structure. It is made of a carbon fiber backbone in cylinder form, and a number of aluminum sandwich panels to which all the subsystems are mounted.

Solar Orbiter

Solar Orbiter will get very close to the Sun. This will allow it to observe and study the solar atmosphere with high spatial resolution and collect unique data and images of the Sun. It will be the first satellite to provide close-up images of the sun’s polar regions and will study the solar wind, the so-called space weather, as well as all layers of the Sun, except its core.

About RUAG International

RUAG International is a Swiss technology group focusing on the aerospace industry. Based in Zurich (Switzerland) and with production sites in 14 countries, the company is divided into four areas: Space, Aerostructures, MRO International and Ammotec. With its strategic focus on aerospace, the company will consist of the two segments Aerostructures and Space in the medium term. RUAG Space is Europe's leading supplier of products used in the aerospace industry. RUAG Aerostructures is a global first-tier supplier in aircraft structure construction. RUAG International employs around 6,000 people, two thirds of whom work outside Switzerland.

For more information, please contact:

RUAG Space
Christian Thalmayr
E: christian.thalmayr@ruag.com
T: +43 1 801 99 2165

Claudia Jenni, Communications Manager a.i.
E: extern.claudia.jenni@ruag.com
T: +41 79 860 67 41 

Web: www.ruag.com/space
Twitter: www.twitter.com/ruagspace