On February 11, 2010 at 15:23 UTC, SDO (Solar Dynamics Observatory) satellite was launched from SLC-41 launch site of Cape Canaveral, USA.
The launch was performed by United Launch Alliance. The $848 million satellite was orbited by the Atlas-5 / 401 (AV-021) rocket-carrier.
SDO is to probe the sun and unravel its fundamental affects on Earth and society. The satellite's three instruments will take rapid-fire images of the sun, peer into the solar interior and measure its extreme ultraviolet radiation output. It will observe the sun faster, deeper and in greater detail than any previous observatories. The sensors will send up to 150 million bits of data per second, almost 50 times more science data than any other mission in NASA history. SDO will study the sun for at least five years, and managers hope the satellite will last a decade.
It was the 602nd launch performed by Atlas rocket-carrier family.