Help Shape the Future of Space Exploration

Join The Planetary Society Now  arrow.png

Join our eNewsletter for updates & action alerts

    Please leave this field empty
Blogs

Van Kane

Europe Bypasses Solar System for Upcoming Science Missions

Posted by Van Kane

06-11-2013 20:44 CST

Topics: future technology, astronomy, Future Mission Concepts

In September I wrote about the European Space Agency’s competition to select its next two large (~€1B) science missions. While many exciting solar system concepts were included, ESA’s management selected X-ray and gravity observatories as its missions to fly in 2028 and 2034. Both missions promise to deepen our knowledge of the universe considerably. The journal Nature has a good overview of the missions.

While it's disappointing the ESA did not select a planetary mission, Europe will make strong contributions to planetary exploration in the next two decades with the Rosetta mission rendezvousing with a comet (2014), a Mars orbiter (2016), a Mars rover (2018), the Bepi-Colombo Mercury orbiter (arrives  2022), and the JUICE Jupiter and Ganymede orbiter (arrives 2030).  This is in addition to the currently operating Venus and Mars Express orbiters.

Europe can still select planetary missions for its Medium-scale program. The Marco Polo-R asteroid sample return mission is currently in consideration for the next selection. ESA's Mars program is also funded separately and is looking at missions for the 2020s.

 
See other posts from November 2013

 

Or read more blog entries about: future technology, astronomy, Future Mission Concepts

Comments:

Paul McCarthy: 11/07/2013 04:31 CST

So no significant Euro mission to the icy moons till the '40s at the earliest (too expensive for Medium-class?)! What's the chance one of those babies don't harbour some kind of bugs? Maybe traces in plain view in the geysers or on the surface! But we're increasingly unlikely to find out in our lifetimes.

Paul McCarthy: 11/07/2013 04:34 CST

India, China, Japan: get to work and beat them to it. Great prestige.

Paul McCarthy: 11/07/2013 11:09 CST

Sorry. Should be: "So no significant new Euro mission".

Leave a Comment:

You must be logged in to submit a comment. Log in now.
Facebook Twitter Email RSS AddThis

Blog Search

Essential Advocacy

Our Advocacy Program provides each Society member a voice in the process.

Funding is critical. The more we have, the more effective we can be, translating into more missions, more science, and more exploration.

Donate

Featured Images

NGC 4100
The Flaming Star Nebula (IC 405)
LDN 604 and GGD 30
Schiaparelli backshell and parachute landing location from HiRISE in color
More Images

Featured Video

The Planetary Post - Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot

Watch Now

Space in Images

Pretty pictures and
awe-inspiring science.

See More

Join The Planetary Society

Let’s explore the cosmos together!

Become a Member

Connect With Us

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more…
Continue the conversation with our online community!