CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, lifted off Thursday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Launch Complex 41 on a first-of-a-kind mission to reveal the Sun’s inner workings in unprecedented detail. The launch aboard an Atlas V rocket occurred at 10:23 a.m. EST on February 11, 2010. SDO carries a LASP-built instrument, the Extreme Ultraviolet Variability Experiment (EVE).
The Sun’s dynamic processes affect everyone and everything on Earth. SDO will explore activity on the Sun that can disable satellites, cause power grid failures, and disrupt GPS communications. SDO also will provide a better understanding of the role the Sun plays in Earth’s atmospheric chemistry and climate.