SOLAR-C is under study with the earliest target launch in mid-2020s

01. Target Launch

The SOLAR-C team is working for a target launch of mid-2020s. This period is near the maximum phase of Solar Cycle 25, which enhances the opportunities to observe the solar active regions and the solar flares.

Fig. 1: Schedule

SOLAR-C is in progress to observing in mid-2020s, the maximum phase of Cycle 25. However, even if the launch is slightly delayed, the defined science objectives will be achieved because active regions and flares continue to occur after the cycle maximum.

02. Status in Japan

In response to the call for JAXA's Competitively-chosen Medium-sized Focused Missions (September 2017), the Solar-C Working Group proposed the mission concept of SOLAR-C (January 2018), which was approved as a result of the review by the review panel under Advisory Committees for Space Science and Engineering and was reported to the ISAS Director General (July 2018). Following the report, ISAS decided to phase up this mission to Pre-Phase A1b (Idea implementation process). After it passed the international science review (December 2018) and the ISAS pre-project candidate selection review (March 2019), SOLAR-C is now under Pre-Phase A2 (Mission defining phase) since April 2019. In April 2020, SOLAR-C is downselected at ISAS for the 4th Competitively-chosen Middle-class mission. SOLAR-C passed the mission definition review (MDR) in July 2022 and project preparation review in September 2022. In November 2022, the SOLAR-C Pre-Project Team was established.

03. Future Milestones

SOLAR-C challenges are the system definition review (SDR) and project transition review, and aims at becoming a full project (Phase B/C/D/E).