Author Topic: ESA's M-class Cosmic Vision candidates  (Read 47926 times)

Offline bolun

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Re: ESA´s M-class Cosmic Vision 2015 - 2025 candidates
« Reply #40 on: 02/19/2014 04:44 PM »
N° 6–2014: ESA selects planet-hunting PLATO misión

19 February 2014

A space-based observatory to search for planets orbiting alien stars has been selected today as ESA’s third medium-class science mission. It is planned for launch by 2024.

The PLATO – Planetary Transits and Oscillations of stars – mission was selected by ESA’s Science Programme Committee for implementation as part of its Cosmic Vision 2015–25 Programme.

The mission will address two key themes of Cosmic Vision: what are the conditions for planet formation and the emergence of life, and how does the Solar System work?

PLATO will monitor relatively nearby stars, searching for tiny, regular dips in brightness as their planets transit in front of them, temporarily blocking out a small fraction of the starlight.

By using 34 separate small telescopes and cameras, PLATO will search for planets around up to a million stars spread over half of the sky.

It will also investigate seismic activity in the stars, enabling a precise characterisation of the host sun of each planet discovered, including its mass, radius and age.

When coupled with ground-based radial velocity observations, PLATO’s measurements will allow a planet’s mass and radius to be calculated, and therefore its density, providing an indication of its composition.

The mission will identify and study thousands of exoplanetary systems, with an emphasis on discovering and characterising Earth-sized planets and super-Earths in the habitable zone of their parent star – the distance from the star where liquid surface water could exist.

“PLATO, with its unique ability to hunt for Sun–Earth analogue systems, will build on the expertise accumulated with a number of European missions, including CoRot and Cheops,” says Alvaro Giménez, ESA’s Director of Science and Robotic Exploration.

“Its discoveries will help to place our own Solar System’s architecture in the context of other planetary systems.

“All M3 mission candidates presented excellent opportunities for answering the major scientific questions that define our Cosmic Vision programme.”

The four other mission concepts competing for the M3 launch opportunity were: EChO (the Exoplanet CHaracterisation Observatory), LOFT (the Large Observatory For x-ray Timing), MarcoPolo-R (to collect and return a sample from a near-Earth asteroid) and STE-Quest (Space-Time Explorer and QUantum Equivalence principle Space Test).

PLATO joins Solar Orbiter and Euclid, which were chosen in 2011 as ESA’s first M-class missions. Solar Orbiter will be launched in 2017 to study the Sun and solar wind from a distance of less than 50 million km, while Euclid, to be launched in 2020, will focus on dark energy, dark matter and the structure of the Universe.

PLATO will be launched on a Soyuz rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou by 2024 for an initial six-year mission. It will operate from L2, a virtual point in space 1.5 million km beyond Earth as seen from the Sun.

Data from ESA’s recently launched Gaia mission will help PLATO to provide precise characteristics of thousands of exoplanet systems. These systems will provide natural targets for detailed follow-up observations by future large ground- and space-based observatories.

1964–2014: 50 years serving European cooperation and innovation

In 1964, the Conventions of the European Launcher Development Organisation (ELDO) and the European Space Research Organisation (ESRO) entered into force. A little more than a decade later, the European Space Agency (ESA) was established, taking over from these two organisations.

2014 will be dedicated to addressing the future in the light of these 50 years of unique achievements in space, which have put ESA among the leading space agencies in the world.

The motto ”serving European cooperation and innovation” underlines how much ESA, together with the national delegations from its 20 Member States, space industry, the scientific community and more recently the EU, has made a difference for Europe and its citizens.

Fifty years of European cooperation in space is an anniversary for the whole space sector in Europe, which can be proud of its results and achievements. It is a testimony that when Member States share the same challenging objectives and join forces, Europe is at the leading edge of progress, innovation and growth, for the benefit of all citizens.

About the European Space Agency

The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe’s gateway to space. ESA is an intergovernmental organisation, created in 1975, with the mission to shape the development of Europe's space capability and ensure that investment in space delivers benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.

ESA has 20 Member States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, of whom 18 are Member States of the EU.

ESA has Cooperation Agreements with eight other Member States of the EU. Canada takes part in some ESA programmes under a Cooperation Agreement.

ESA is also working with the EU to implement the Galileo and Copernicus programmes.

By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, ESA can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country.

ESA develops the launchers, spacecraft and ground facilities needed to keep Europe at the forefront of global space activities.

Today, it launches satellites for Earth observation, navigation, telecommunications and astronomy, sends probes to the far reaches of the Solar System and cooperates in the human exploration of space.

Learn more at www.esa.int
For further information:

ESA Media Relations Office
Email: media@esa.int
Tel: +33 1 53 69 72 99

http://www.esa.int/For_Media/Press_Releases/ESA_selects_planet-hunting_PLATO_mission

Offline bolun

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Re: ESA´s M-class Cosmic Vision 2015 - 2025 candidates
« Reply #41 on: 02/20/2014 08:40 AM »
Europe’s planet-hunting mission gets the green light

http://www.bis.gov.uk/ukspaceagency/news-and-events/2014/Feb/plato-green-light

Space telescope PLATO 2.0 to search for a 'second Earth'

http://www.dlr.de/dlr/en/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-10081/151_read-9608/year-all/#gallery/13778

European Space Agency picks Plato planet-hunting misión

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-26267918
« Last Edit: 02/20/2014 08:04 PM by bolun »

Offline bolun

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Re: ESA´s M-class Cosmic Vision 2015 - 2025 candidates
« Reply #42 on: 08/20/2014 08:13 AM »
Call for a Medium-size mission opportunity in ESA's Science Programme for a launch in 2025 (M4)

19 August 2014

Through this Call for Missions the Director of Science and Robotic Exploration solicits from the broad scientific community proposals for the competitive selection of mission concepts to be candidate for the implementation of a medium-size, or M-class, mission (M4) for launch in 2025.

 http://sci.esa.int/cosmic-vision/54490-call-for-a-medium-size-mission-opportunity-in-esa-science-programme-for-a-launch-in-2025/

Online Alpha_Centauri

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Re: ESA´s M-class Cosmic Vision 2015 - 2025 candidates
« Reply #43 on: 01/24/2015 12:53 AM »
Only tangentially related, but an interesting development and not sure where else to put it...


The scientific lead behind M3's "ECHO", which has now evolved into "ARIEL" for the M4 call, was from UCL. It now seems the UCL team are spearheading a smallsat mission in collaboration with SSTL.  The intention seems to be get a headstart in transit spectroscopy.  This is the same strategy the PLATO team used, which lead to CHEOPS.

http://www.sstl.co.uk/Blog/January-2015/Twinkle-A-British-mission-to-explore-Exoplanets
Quote
TWINKLE: A BRITISH MISSION TO EXPLORE EXOPLANETS
Twinkle, a bold and pioneering British mission, will observe more than one hundred known exoplanets and will unveil their weather, history and the chemical composition of their atmosphere.
« Last Edit: 01/24/2015 07:40 PM by Alpha_Centauri »

Online Alpha_Centauri

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Re: ESA´s M-class Cosmic Vision 2015 - 2025 candidates
« Reply #44 on: 01/24/2015 08:30 PM »
Proposal submission for M4 ended on the 15th.  I've been trying to find out what missions were planned to be submitted.

Here's EnVision, a Sentinel 1-derived Synthetic Aperture Radar mapper for Venus.

http://www.envisionm4.net/index.php

Quote
EnVision is a planetary orbiter mission competing for the European Space Agency's 2025 launch opportunity. It will accomplish revolutionary surface, interior and atmospheric science to determine the nature and rate of change caused by geological and atmospheric processes. The incredible data harvest will allow us to understand why Venus has evolved so differently from Earth despite their apparent sister-planet characteristics.

Letter of intent - http://www.envisionm4.net/Resources/EnVision-Letter%20of%20Intent.pdf
Submission summary - http://www.envisionm4.net/Resources/ExecutiveSummary.pdf
« Last Edit: 02/07/2015 02:19 PM by Alpha_Centauri »

Online Alpha_Centauri

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Re: ESA´s M-class Cosmic Vision 2015 - 2025 candidates
« Reply #45 on: 01/25/2015 12:22 AM »
Another is Castalia, a mission to orbit a Main Belt Comet.

https://sites.google.com/site/castaliathemission/home

Quote
Main Belt Comets (MBCs), a type of Active Asteroid, constitute a newly identified class of solar system objects. They have stable, asteroid-like orbits and some exhibit a recurrent comet-like appearance. It is believed that they survived the age of the solar system in a dormant state and that their current ice sublimation driven activity only began recently. Buried water ice is the only volatile expected to survive under an insulating surface. Excavation by an impact can expose the ice and trigger the start of MBC activity. We present the case for a mission to one of these objects, to be submitted to the European Space Agency’s current call for an M-class mission.
« Last Edit: 02/07/2015 02:20 PM by Alpha_Centauri »

Offline kato

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Re: ESA´s M-class Cosmic Vision 2015 - 2025 candidates
« Reply #46 on: 01/25/2015 07:20 AM »
Galileo Galilei, a relativity experiment in orbit, to some extent a successor mission to µSCOPE. Apparently previously failed to make it in the S1 competition, and is still sized more for a "small" mission.

http://eotvos.dm.unipi.it/WorkshopINRIM/index.html

Letter of Intent: http://eotvos.dm.unipi.it/WorkshopINRIM/GGletterOfIntentM4.pdf

Offline kato

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Re: ESA´s M-class Cosmic Vision 2015 - 2025 candidates
« Reply #47 on: 01/25/2015 07:29 AM »
LOFT, "Large Observatory For X-ray Timing" to study the motion of matter near black holes and neutron stars.

http://www.isdc.unige.ch/loft/index.php/the-loft-mission

Previously submitted to M3, selected for top four, failed.

Submission announcement for M4: http://www.isdc.unige.ch/loft/index.php/structure-of-the-consortium/loft-newsletter-archive/archive/view/listid-1-mailinglist/mailid-75-loft-m4-proposal-and-white-papers

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Re: ESA´s M-class Cosmic Vision 2015 - 2025 candidates
« Reply #48 on: 01/25/2015 10:55 AM »
FARSIDE, a lander+orbiter mission to the Moon's South Pole-Aitken basin. Eclectic mix of science including low-frequency radioastronomy and a seismometer/orbital camera for internal structure study.

Quote
FARSIDE is a mission to the farside of the moon that consists of a lander and an instrumented relay satellite. The lander will make pioneering radio astronomy, geophysical, and geochemical measurements from the interior of the 2000-km diameter South Pole-Aitken basin. From a relay satellite at the Earth-Moon L2 Lagrange point, the surface will be monitored for impact-generated light flashes, and synergistic radio and magnetic measurements will be obtained.

Full proposal attached below.

Resubmitted from M3, where it had two landers.
« Last Edit: 02/07/2015 02:16 PM by Alpha_Centauri »

Offline as58

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Re: ESA´s M-class Cosmic Vision 2015 - 2025 candidates
« Reply #49 on: 01/25/2015 02:36 PM »
AFAIK about 30 missions submitted LoIs (I think it was 31). Not sure about actual mission proposals.

Offline kato

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Re: ESA´s M-class Cosmic Vision 2015 - 2025 candidates
« Reply #50 on: 01/25/2015 08:36 PM »
A look through the PDFs linked in this PDF (accepted presentations at AstroRecon 2015 two weeks ago) reveals two more:

Quote
In the frame of the M4 Cosmic Vision ESA call, low frequency and high frequency radar is also proposed for the Castalia mission to a Main Belt Comet, for Marco Polo 2D to a D-type asteroid and for PhobEx to Phobos.

Online Alpha_Centauri

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Re: ESA´s M-class Cosmic Vision 2015 - 2025 candidates
« Reply #51 on: 02/07/2015 09:34 AM »
^^^

Indeed I cannot find much information on either Marco Polo 2D or PhobEx and do not know whether they submitted.

However here is an interesting interview with the lead for Marco Polo 2D, a sample return from a D-type asteroid in collaboration with the chinese;

https://www.beaconreader.com/katharine-sanderson/grabbing-a-fistful-of-asteroid
« Last Edit: 02/07/2015 09:47 AM by Alpha_Centauri »

Online Alpha_Centauri

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Re: ESA´s M-class Cosmic Vision 2015 - 2025 candidates
« Reply #52 on: 02/07/2015 10:03 AM »
Hera, a Saturn atmospheric entry probe.

http://hera.lam.fr/

Quote
The Hera Saturn entry probe mission is proposed as an M-class mission led by ESA with a significant contribution from NASA. It consists of one atmospheric probe to be sent into the atmosphere of Saturn, and a Carrier-Relay spacecraft. Hera will perform in situ measurements of the chemical and isotopic compositions as well as the dynamics of Saturn’s atmosphere using a single probe, with the goal of improving our understanding of the origin, formation, and evolution of Saturn, the giant planets and their satellite systems, with extrapolation to extrasolar planets. Hera will probe well into the cloud-forming region of the troposphere, below the region accessible to remote sensing, to the locations where certain cosmogenically abundant species are expected to be well mixed.

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Re: ESA´s M-class Cosmic Vision 2015 - 2025 candidates
« Reply #53 on: 02/07/2015 10:50 AM »
COrE+, "Cosmic Origins Explorer", a CMB polarimeter to tackle the cosmic inflation question left open by Planck/BICEP et. al.

Quote
COrE+ is an ambitious CMB mission with a science program that will complement the achievements of the Planck satellite. A primary objective of the mission will be to investigate the physics of inflation and to constrain the inflation potential through precise measurements of the CMB polarization B-modes.
« Last Edit: 02/07/2015 02:05 PM by Alpha_Centauri »

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Re: ESA´s M-class Cosmic Vision 2015 - 2025 candidates
« Reply #54 on: 02/07/2015 12:07 PM »
Arago, a UV/Vis spectropolarimetery telescope for stellar and circumstellar physics.

http://lesia.obspm.fr/UVMag/

Quote
During the formation and the entire life of stars and planets, several physical processes, in particular magnetic fields and winds, influence their dynamics, and thus impact their evolution. These processes directly impact the internal structure of stars, the transport of angular momentum, and of course the direct circumstellar environment. They thus drive not only stellar evolution, but also the formation and fate of planets surrounding the stars and the emergence of life. We propose to follow the life cycle of matter, from the interstellar medium to the surface of stars and the edge of the stellar systems, and thus to study the formation, structure, evolution, and 3D dynamic environment of all types of stars and their planets. This will be done through the use of a high-resolution spectropolarimeter working in both the UV and visible wavelength domains attached to a 1.3 meter telescope.

Letter of intent - http://lesia.obspm.fr/UVMag/sites/UVMag/IMG/pdf/arago_loi.pdf
Preliminary design of the full-Stokes UV and visible spectropolarimeter for UVMag/Arago http://arxiv.org/abs/1502.00856
« Last Edit: 02/07/2015 02:11 PM by Alpha_Centauri »

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Re: ESA´s M-class Cosmic Vision 2015 - 2025 candidates
« Reply #55 on: 02/07/2015 01:50 PM »
Theia, ultra-high precision astrometric observatory. Re-badging of the "NEAT" mission study, spawn of Gaia. Unique selling point is a solar-neighborhood census of earth-mass planets.

http://theia.osug.fr/

Quote
The Theia mission will explore the Universe at unprecedented astrometric precision of 0.3µas over a field of about 1 degree. Theia is the divinity of sight and daughter of Gaia. Similarly, the instrument concept carries on the heritage of HIPPARCOS and Gaia missions combined to latest developments in precision metrology control. While giant telescopes and other observatories will do wonders in spectroscopy, imaging, photometry, etc. Theia will enable science cases unique to µas astrometry, a precision that will reveal the Universe in motion like Earth-like planets orbiting around our immediate stellar neighbors, the activity of the most extreme objects known (black holes and neutron stars) and unveil the local sub-structure of the dark matter halo in which the Milky Way resides. Conceived as an open observatory class mission, Theia will bring ultra-precise astrometry to the broader community, including target-of-opportunity science in the era of Extremely Large Telescopes.

Letter of intent - http://theia.osug.fr/IMG/pdf/theia-loi-20140916.pdf
« Last Edit: 02/07/2015 01:58 PM by Alpha_Centauri »

Offline as58

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Re: ESA´s M-class Cosmic Vision 2015 - 2025 candidates
« Reply #56 on: 02/07/2015 03:20 PM »
Some info about some of the other candidates. There were a few more LoIs, but I didn't find any recent information about them in a quick search.

AGP:
https://lagrange.oca.eu/IMG/pdf/Gai_AGP_2014_2.pdf

Theseus:
www.brera.inaf.it/Swift10/Talks/Amati.pdf

Phenix:
http://sigma-2.cesr.fr/phenix/

Nitro:
http://www.stce.be/esww11/contributions/public/Session12/S12-P-8-YamauchiM/20141120PresentationposterNitro_ESWW.ppt

Alfvén+:
http://alfvenm4.org/

Ravens:
http://www2.le.ac.uk/departments/physics/research/rspp/missions/ravens/documentation/Ravens%20proposal.pdf

Uranus Pathfinder:
http://www.mssl.ucl.ac.uk/planetary/missions/uranus/

AstroMeV:
http://astromev.in2p3.fr/

Thor:
www5.noa.gr/images/presentations/tuesday/PM1/Vaivads_THOR%20-%20amission%20candidate%20for%20ESA%20M4.pdf

Ariel:
http://ariel-m4.sciencesconf.org/

HiRISE/NEOCE:
www.mssl.ucl.ac.uk/~lkh/UKsolarmissions/HiRISE-NEOCE_ESA-M4_mssl-web.pdf

STE-QUEST, which was one of the finalists in M3, is also in the competition.

Online Alpha_Centauri

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Re: ESA´s M-class Cosmic Vision 2015 - 2025 candidates
« Reply #57 on: 03/07/2015 03:51 PM »
The initial downselect, essentially based on cost and schedule targets, has been made. From the chatter can make out that;

ARIEL and LOFT are through

MAQRO, EnVision and COrE+ are out

Trying to find out the status of the others.
« Last Edit: 03/07/2015 04:04 PM by Alpha_Centauri »

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Re: ESA´s M-class Cosmic Vision 2015 - 2025 candidates
« Reply #58 on: 03/13/2015 12:30 PM »
More chatter;

https://www.beaconreader.com/katharine-sanderson/space-missions-out-of-the-running-in-european-competition

Apparently rumours all the interplanetary missions were dropped in the technical down select.



Thor is through to next stage;
https://wis.kuleuven.be/CmPA/news/2015/thor

Offline as58

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Re: ESA´s M-class Cosmic Vision 2015 - 2025 candidates
« Reply #59 on: 03/15/2015 11:18 AM »
Thanks a lot for the info. I've also heard vague rumours that the technical/cost downselection was very tough this time, but I don't have any info about specific missions.

BTW, this thread would probably be better moved to Space Science coverage section.


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