After this new orbiter opens its eyes in 2021, it will eventually take the closest images ever of the star, from just 26 million miles away. That’s about a quarter the distance between the Earth and the Sun, and inside the orbit of Mercury. Parker has already made closer approaches, but it doesn’t carry cameras capable of staring directly at the blazing orb—it’s focused on sampling the inner winds instead. The Solar Orbiter’s sun-facing telescopes sit safely inside the spacecraft, hidden behind its heatshield. When the time comes, viewing ports will open just enough to let in the sunlight needed to take pictures.