Solar Orbiter spacecraft will capture the sun's north and south poles

The Solar Orbiter spacecraft, a joint Nasa and European Space Agency (ESA) mission, is set to be launched from Cape Canaveral just after 4am UK time on Monday morning, and will reach its vantage point above the planetary plane by the end of 2021.

The moon, Mars and beyond… the space race in 2020

Not since the 1960s have we witnessed such appetite for space missions. Here’s what to expect in the year ahead, from commercial launches to Chinese ambitions