ESA’s first small Science Programme mission is ready for construction. The implementation phase has started, meaning that the spacecraft has gone from selection to implementation in less than 18 months.
CHEOPS was selected by ESA in October 2012 from 26 proposals that were submitted in response to the announcement of the small mission programme. It was officially adopted into the Science Programme in February this year. Capped to an ESA cost of €50 million, it is being developed in collaboration with the Swiss Space Office (SSO), a division of the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI), and the University of Bern, Switzerland. The Swiss organisations lead the consortium of 11 ESA Member States contributing to the mission and represented in the CHEOPS Science Team. The spacecraft will be built by Airbus Defence and Space, Spain.
CHEOPS will most likely be launched as a passenger on a Soyuz or Vega launcher from Kourou at the end of 2017.
ESA and its mission partners are inviting children to submit drawings that will be miniaturised and engraved on two plaques that will be put on the satellite.
CHEOPS is now moving steadily from a paper design to the hardware phase. Over the last couple of months the Instrument Consortium, led by the University of Bern, has taken delivery of the first hardware from Airbus Defence and Space (ADS)–Spain, the prime contractor for the CHEOPS platform. These deliveries included the Platform Simulator, as well as the platform panels for instrument assembly and handling, the Star Tracker Optical Head Assemblies with their associated multi-layer insulation (MLI), and the support structure for the Baffle Cover Assembly.
So CHEOPS will fly on a Soyuz from CSG.
Calling all graphic designers & artists! Submit design to feature on the rocket carrying #CHEOPS satellite 🚀 https://t.co/VZugX77wTV https://t.co/UUcFtmCHBb