The research focus of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research is our cosmic neighborhood: the solar system with its planets and moons, comets and asteroids as well as the sun. The aim of the scientists is to describe the processes in the solar system in models and to simulate them on the computer. In addition, instruments are being developed and built to study these bodies from space. The Institute is involved in numerous space missions.
The Submillimetre Wave Instrument (SWI), which will embark on a research mission to the Jovian system next year aboard ESA’s Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer (JUICE), has reached an important milestone. After eight years of development and construction at MPS, the instrument arrived yesterday at Airbus Defence and Space in Toulouse, France. At the same time, another, much larger new arrival was welcomed there: the spacecraft itself, which traveled by plane.
Venus will be a popular “waypoint” in the next days: while advancing more and more into the inner Solar System, two space missions will pay a short visit to our neighboring planet. On Monday, August 9, the flyby will allow ESA’s Solar Orbiter to enter into a new orbit around the Sun; just one day later, BepiColombo, a joint mission of ESA and JAXA to Mercury, will fly a similar maneuver before it embarks on the last part of its journey to the innermost planet. Instruments to which MPS contributed will perform measurements.
In the clean rooms at MPS, the balloon-borne solar observatory Sunrise III is gradually taking shape. Launch is planned for the summer of 2022. Sunrise III will look at the Sun from the stratosphere with the help of a 1-meter telescope and three scientific instruments.
The Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research takes the current risk situation due to the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 very seriously. It is the Institute's primary objective to minimize the risk of infection for its staff and to contribute in general to minimizing the spread of the virus.
Read more about current measures and restrictions here.