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Arianespace Chosen by ESA to Launch CHEOPS

December 20, 2017 - Arianespace has signed a contract with the European Space Agency (ESA) to launch CHEOPS (the CHaracterising ExOPlanet Satellite), which is its upcoming exoplanet mission as part of ESA’s science program. The satellite will be launched from the Guiana Space Center, between late 2018 and early 2019 using a Soyuz launch vehicle. CHEOPS will target nearby, bright stars already known to have planets orbiting around them. Through high-precision monitoring of a star’s brightness, scientists will examine the transit of a planet as it passes briefly across the star’s face. In turn, this will allow an accurate measurement of the planet’s radius. For those planets with a known mass, the density will be revealed, providing an indication of the internal structure. Based on an Airbus Defence and Space satellite platform, CHEOPS will weigh about 300 kg. at launch, and will be injected into a 700-km.-altitude Sun-synchronous dawn-to-dusk orbit around Earth, inclined by approximately 98º to the Equator as it circles the globe from pole to pole.

 
 
 
 
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