Author Topic: ESA's M-class Cosmic Vision candidates  (Read 48016 times)

Offline Alpha_Centauri

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Re: ESA´s M-class Cosmic Vision 2015 - 2025 candidates
« Reply #80 on: 06/07/2015 09:12 AM »
A big factor in the selection of missions is the strategic element. Europe has a decent sized and successful exoplanet community, but it consistently lost out in previous selection rounds and was especially hard hit by the cancellation of Eddington, and the shelving of Darwin exacerbated woes. Things were looking bleak for the exoplanet community in Europe, and to top it all it lost out in the L-class meaning no big mission for decades.

The recent S and M calls were really the last roll of the dice for ESA to maintain this key field. It's not hard to see that there is a lot of pressure to select them now.  It only feels like a lot is coming along now because ESA failed to support it earlier and let NASA push ahead.


Offline kato

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Re: ESA´s M-class Cosmic Vision 2015 - 2025 candidates
« Reply #81 on: 06/07/2015 09:55 AM »
This wouldn't be a bad thing, they are all complimentary, but it's hard to argue exoplanets are being under-served.
Don't forget ESPRESSO and CODEX at ESO, which further compliment that.

Offline Torbjorn Larsson, OM

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Re: ESA´s M-class Cosmic Vision 2015 - 2025 candidates
« Reply #82 on: 06/07/2015 02:19 PM »
A big factor in the selection of missions is the strategic element. Europe has a decent sized and successful exoplanet community, but it consistently lost out in previous selection rounds and was especially hard hit by the cancellation of Eddington, and the shelving of Darwin exacerbated woes. Things were looking bleak for the exoplanet community in Europe, and to top it all it lost out in the L-class meaning no big mission for decades.

The recent S and M calls were really the last roll of the dice for ESA to maintain this key field. It's not hard to see that there is a lot of pressure to select them now.  It only feels like a lot is coming along now because ESA failed to support it earlier and let NASA push ahead.

That was odd. [Disclaimer: I am chiefly interested in astrobiology, but have apparently not sufficiently kept up with ESA's plans.]

I was just scrolling through BBC's science reporter Amos's twitter as it was linked to under the discussion of Airbus's "Adeline" 1st stage engine reuse attempt, and below that he said:

"Jonathan Amos ‏@BBCAmos  4 jun
Exoplanets are cool and all, but is @esascience seriously considering yet another mission in this area? http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Three_candidates_for_ESA_s_next_medium-class_science_mission …"

[ https://twitter.com/BBCAmos/status/606417162551599104 ]

Seems there would be a need for putting a lot of effort into spreading that info around, if the BBC science coverage is slanted _against_ exoplanet efforts for, what it seems as when taken at face value, a misapprehension like the one described!
« Last Edit: 06/07/2015 02:24 PM by Torbjorn Larsson, OM »

Offline as58

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Re: ESA´s M-class Cosmic Vision 2015 - 2025 candidates
« Reply #83 on: 06/07/2015 04:17 PM »
Sorry, I didn't mean to start a war with my comment...

I know that exoplanet community was hard-hit by Eddington and Darwin cancellations, as well as that of SIM(Lite) and TPF in the US. But it's hardly the only subfield of astrophysics that has had these problems. On the X-ray side, GEMS was cancelled, LOFT has been trying the get approved for years, and while Xeus/IXO/Athena won L2 slot, it won't launch until late next decade. The last ESA high-energy astrophysics missions that I can think of are XMM-Newton (launched 1999) and Integral (2002). Between Integral and M4 ESA will have launched Corot (2006, with CNES), Gaia (2013), Cheops (2017), Euclid (2020), and Plato (2023) - three missions targeted for exoplanet research and two (Gaia and Euclid) that detect exoplanets, although it's not their main goal. So I would argue that X-ray astrophysics is more under-served.

And no, I don't work in high-energy astrophysics.

Offline kato

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Re: ESA´s M-class Cosmic Vision 2015 - 2025 candidates
« Reply #84 on: 06/07/2015 05:16 PM »
Based on exactly that "war" i'm giving Thor pretty good chances.

Offline Star One

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Re: ESA´s M-class Cosmic Vision 2015 - 2025 candidates
« Reply #85 on: 06/07/2015 06:27 PM »

Sorry, I didn't mean to start a war with my comment...

I know that exoplanet community was hard-hit by Eddington and Darwin cancellations, as well as that of SIM(Lite) and TPF in the US. But it's hardly the only subfield of astrophysics that has had these problems. On the X-ray side, GEMS was cancelled, LOFT has been trying the get approved for years, and while Xeus/IXO/Athena won L2 slot, it won't launch until late next decade. The last ESA high-energy astrophysics missions that I can think of are XMM-Newton (launched 1999) and Integral (2002). Between Integral and M4 ESA will have launched Corot (2006, with CNES), Gaia (2013), Cheops (2017), Euclid (2020), and Plato (2023) - three missions targeted for exoplanet research and two (Gaia and Euclid) that detect exoplanets, although it's not their main goal. So I would argue that X-ray astrophysics is more under-served.

And no, I don't work in high-energy astrophysics.

That is just the slack being taken up in the area of exoplanet research due to prior disinterest that's no argument against the choice of this mission now.

Offline bolun

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Re: ESA´s M-class Cosmic Vision 2015 - 2025 candidates
« Reply #86 on: 07/11/2015 01:09 PM »
THOR's web page: http://thor.irfu.se
« Last Edit: 07/11/2015 01:37 PM by bolun »

Offline Alpha_Centauri

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Re: ESA´s M-class Cosmic Vision 2015 - 2025 candidates
« Reply #87 on: 07/11/2015 01:58 PM »
Here's ARIEL's public page; not much on there yet but I think it's under construction.

http://ariel-spacemission.eu

Offline as58

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Re: ESA´s M-class Cosmic Vision 2015 - 2025 candidates
« Reply #88 on: 07/12/2015 03:35 PM »
To add to Alpha_Centauri's posts: the only public info about Xipe that I could find is this presentation from 2012.

http://webusers.fis.uniroma3.it/~agn10/file/muleri.pdf

I have no idea if the current mission proposal is different from the one described in the presentation.

I also found the Senior Science Committee recommendation letter on the webpage of one of the (unsuccessful) candidates:

http://eotvos.dm.unipi.it/ESAM4mission2015/SSCM4Recommendation.pdf

There's not really any new info, just some nice words about the three missions, but maybe you can try to read between the lines to find which one is the favourite.

Offline bolun

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Re: ESA´s M-class Cosmic Vision 2015 - 2025 candidates
« Reply #89 on: 07/25/2015 07:57 PM »
Announcement of the plans for the issuing of a Call for a Medium-size mission for launch in 2029-2030 (M5)

http://sci.esa.int/cosmic-vision/56198-announcement-of-the-plans-for-the-issuing-of-a-call-for-a-medium-size-mission-for-launch-in-2029-2030-m5/

Quote
The current planning foresees the release of the M5 Call around the end of 2015 or beginning of 2016. The Call is foreseen to solicit proposals for a mission with a cap to the ESA Cost at Completion of 550 M€. However, proposals with a cost below the above cap would be considered with no prejudice, both for stand-alone missions as for contributions to partner-led missions. Proposals whose cost to ESA would exceed the cap would be considered as non-feasible.

Quote
In preparation for the M5 Call the Executive would like to solicit the interest of the broad scientific community, encouraging the exploration of ideas covering all possible domains of science that can make use of a space platform, including disciplines that thus far have not considered this possibility. Such proposals would be welcome and considered with interest.

Quote
Medium-size missions are a key vehicle for international cooperation in the Science Programme of ESA. As such, proposals in response to the M5 Call in cooperation with other partners will be welcome.

Edit: I have changed the name of the thread.
« Last Edit: 07/25/2015 08:17 PM by bolun »

Offline Alpha_Centauri

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Re: ESA's M-class Cosmic Vision candidates
« Reply #90 on: 07/29/2015 09:11 PM »

Offline bolun

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Re: ESA´s M-class Cosmic Vision 2015 - 2025 candidates
« Reply #91 on: 09/12/2015 11:43 AM »
To add to Alpha_Centauri's posts: the only public info about Xipe that I could find is this presentation from 2012.

http://webusers.fis.uniroma3.it/~agn10/file/muleri.pdf

I have no idea if the current mission proposal is different from the one described in the presentation.

I also found the Senior Science Committee recommendation letter on the webpage of one of the (unsuccessful) candidates:

http://eotvos.dm.unipi.it/ESAM4mission2015/SSCM4Recommendation.pdf

There's not really any new info, just some nice words about the three missions, but maybe you can try to read between the lines to find which one is the favourite.

Xipe's web page: http://www.isdc.unige.ch/xipe/index.php
« Last Edit: 09/12/2015 11:47 AM by bolun »

Offline Alpha_Centauri

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Re: ESA's M-class Cosmic Vision candidates
« Reply #92 on: 10/06/2015 08:27 AM »
Wow that's unusual, ESA has released the Phase 0 studies of the three finalists already;

http://sci.esa.int/future-missions-office/56560-phase-0-studies-completed-for-the-m4-cosmic-vision-candidate-missions/

Offline bolun

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Re: ESA's M-class Cosmic Vision candidates
« Reply #93 on: 10/27/2015 08:44 AM »
http://sci.esa.int/future-missions-office/56680-three-new-studies-create-mission-proposal-opportunities/

Three new studies create mission proposal opportunities

Quote
Three mission assessment studies, of interest in the context of future calls for medium-size missions, are now available. The studies, into a cooled infrared telescope, a Jovian moon flyby mission, and an impactor on Europa, were carried out at ESA's Concurrent Design Facility (CDF) at the request of ESA's Future Missions Office.

Quote
The scientific community is welcome to use these studies in preparation of possible proposals for future M mission opportunities.
« Last Edit: 10/27/2015 08:48 AM by bolun »

Offline bolun

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Re: ESA's M-class Cosmic Vision candidates
« Reply #94 on: 04/30/2016 04:07 PM »
Call for a Medium-size mission opportunity in ESA's Science Programme (M5)

29 April 2016

Through this Call for Missions the Director of Science 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 (M5).

http://sci.esa.int/cosmic-vision/57780-call-for-a-medium-size-mission-opportunity-in-esa-s-science-programme-m5/

Offline Alpha_Centauri

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Re: ESA's M-class Cosmic Vision candidates
« Reply #95 on: 05/09/2017 02:21 AM »
And finally the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight for M4.

http://sci.esa.int/cosmic-vision/59108-cosmic-vision-m4-candidate-missions-presentation-event/
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COSMIC VISION M4 CANDIDATE MISSIONS: PRESENTATION EVENT

ARIEL, THOR, and XIPE, the three candidates for the M4 medium-class mission in ESA's Science Programme, will be presented to the science community at a special event in Paris on 3 July 2017...

...The mission concepts have completed their Assessment Phase study activities, and a recommendation about which concept should be carried forward for Definition Phase activities will be issued under the responsibility of the Advisory Structure to the ESA Science Programme. The present plan is to submit to the Science Programme Committee the proposal to select one mission in November 2017.

Large PDFs of the latest assessment reports;

ARIEL
https://www.cosmos.esa.int/documents/1365222/1365271/SCI-2017-2+ARIEL.pdf/7c64e5cc-60ff-7167-540d-6d008e6c3f64

THOR
https://www.cosmos.esa.int/documents/1365222/1365271/SCI-2017-3+THOR.pdf/4d30b982-3bb4-21c2-d733-34c6e77770f9

XIPE
https://www.cosmos.esa.int/documents/1365222/1365271/SCI-2017-4+XIPE.pdf/1943687e-4d31-af62-ab79-1b0e1445ef14
« Last Edit: 05/09/2017 10:27 AM by Alpha_Centauri »

Offline redliox

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Re: ESA's M-class Cosmic Vision candidates
« Reply #96 on: 05/09/2017 04:41 PM »
Hmmm, not much for planetary exploration although ARIEL sounds exciting for exoplanet investigation.  All 3 sound like solid astronomy missions though.
"Let the trails lead where they may, I will follow."
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Offline bolun

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Re: ESA's M-class Cosmic Vision candidates
« Reply #97 on: 06/20/2017 08:00 PM »
http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Gravitational_wave_mission_selected_planet-hunting_mission_moves_forward

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Planet-hunter adopted

In the same meeting Plato – Planetary Transits and Oscillations of stars – has now been adopted in the Science Programme, following its selection in February 2014.

This means it can move from a blueprint into construction. In the coming months industry will be asked to make bids to supply the spacecraft platform.

Following its launch in 2026, Plato will monitor thousands of bright stars over a large area of the sky, searching for tiny, regular dips in brightness as their planets cross in front of them, temporarily blocking out a small fraction of the starlight.

The mission will have a particular emphasis on discovering and characterising Earth-sized planets and super-Earths orbiting Sun-like stars in the habitable zone – the distance from the star where liquid surface water could exist.

It will also investigate seismic activity in some of the host stars, and determine their masses, sizes and ages, helping to understand the entire exoplanet system.

Plato will operate from the ‘L2’ virtual point in space 1.5 million km beyond Earth as seen from the Sun.

Offline Star One

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Re: ESA's M-class Cosmic Vision candidates
« Reply #98 on: 06/21/2017 01:53 PM »
Plato mission brings opportunities for UK space sector

A mission searching for habitable planets orbiting alien stars has been given the green light to move into the construction phase.

Plato (Planetary Transits and Oscillations of stars) was adopted at the European Space Agency’s Science Programme Committee meeting today (20 June 2017), following its selection in February 2014. That means work to build the science instrument payload can begin and in the coming months industry will be invited to bid to ESA for the contract to supply the spacecraft.

The UK Space Agency is investing £25 million in the development of the novel scientific instruments on board.

Dr Katherine Wright, Head of Space Science at the UK Space Agency, said:

Investment in Plato builds on UK science and engineering strengths in this area and secures us a leading role on this pre-eminent space science mission for the next decade. Plato has the exciting potential to discover Earth-like planets around other stars, which may eventually lead to the detection of extra-terrestrial life.

Planned to launch in 2026, Plato will monitor thousands of relatively bright stars over a large area of the sky, searching for tiny, regular dips in brightness as their planets cross in front of them, temporarily blocking out a small fraction of the starlight.

Astronomers have so far found over 1,000 planets beyond our Solar System (exoplanets), but none as yet has been shown to be truly Earth-like in terms of its size and distance from a Sun similar to our own.

Plato’s innovative design is set to change all that. Its suite of multiple small telescopes and cameras, reminiscent of the compound eye of an insect, will allow it to ‘stare’ at a large number of the nearest and brightest stars, with the aim of discovering Earth-sized planets orbiting Sun-like stars in the ‘habitable zone’ – the distance from the star where liquid water could exist at the surface.

This will allow them to be studied with unprecedented accuracy and assessed for their potential to host life. An important part of this investigation will be to perform an intricate study of the structure and properties of the host stars themselves, providing key complementary information needed for the proper characterisation of rocky Earth-like exoplanet worlds.

UK scientists and engineers in collaboration with the UK Space Agency are leading participants involved in all aspects of the mission. Prof Don Pollacco, of Warwick University, leads the Plato Science Management Consortium. Scientists and engineers at UCL’s Mullard Space Science Laboratory are responsible for the design and manufacture of the electronics for the camera system that sits behind the telescopes, and for characterising the camera detectors to optimise their performance.

The detectors are charge-coupled devices (CCDs), produced by the e2v company in Chelmsford under contract to ESA. A team of UK scientists, coordinated by Cambridge’s Institute of Astronomy, is also developing the Exoplanet Analysis data processing system on the ground.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/plato-mission-brings-opportunities-for-uk-space-sector

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