Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) Spacecraft

Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) Spacecraft

Courtesy of NASA

Solar Dynamics Observatory is the first mission of NASA's Living With a Star Program, designed to understand the causes of solar variability and its impacts on Earth.

February 11, 2010

May 14, 2010 (began collecting data)

End of Mission
Still operating (a 5-year mission is planned with a possible 5-year extension)


  1. Study the Sun’s influence on Earth and near-Earth space by observing the solar atmosphere at a small scale in many wavelengths at the same time.
  2. Determine how the Sun’s magnetic field is generated, structured, and released in the form of energy.
  3. Predict solar variations that can affect life on Earth, such as solar flares that can affect cell phone and other technology.

Scientists are currently studying data from this ongoing mission.