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SPICE receives "First Light"

24 April 2020

RAL Space’s SPICE instrument has successfully taken its first measurements of the Sun on board the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Solar Orbiter.

The SPICE team has been monitoring and testing the instrument since 24 February. Now, after high voltage was supplied to the detectors, external doors have been opened and sunlight has flooded the SPICE telescope mirror for the first time. SPICE is now ready to measure its first extreme-ultraviolet spectra of the Sun

This is a major milestone for the instrument and for the spacecraft which was launched on 10 February 2020 and is currently on its way to study the Sun up close.

After this latest check of the instrument’s capabilities Dr Andrzej Fludra, RAL Space scientist and SPICE instrument consortium lead said: “This is a scientist's dream. SPICE works as expected – a great success for the entire international team led by RAL Space."

Find out more on the RAL Space website.

Last updated: 27 April 2020

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