May 7, 2014
Fine Tubes, a manufacturer and global distributor of precision tubes for critical applications in Plymouth, U.K., has been selected to supply specialist tubing for the chemical propulsion system (CPS) of the Solar Orbiter project.
Contracted by OHB Sweden, Fine Tubes will manufacture more than 328 ft. of Grade 2 AMS 4942 titanium tubing with a 0.12-in. OD and 0.10-in. ID.
Solar Orbiter is a European Space Agency (ESA) project that will investigate how the sun creates and controls the heliosphere, its extended atmosphere. The contract to build the satellite has been awarded to Astrium UK, which will lead a team of suppliers, including OHB Sweden. NASA will provide the launcher and contribute instruments to the scientific payload. The scientific mission will be coordinated with NASA's Solar Probe Plus to maximize the combined science return.
Due for launch in 2017, Solar Orbiter will fly to within 45 million km of the sun to image the solar poles for the first time, helping to explain how the sun generates its magnetic field.