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List of projects of the European Space Agency

The following is a list of projects of the European Space Agency (ESA) including collaborations with other, national agencies, such as the French CNES, the Chinese CNSA, the Canadian CSA, the Japanese JAXA, the U.S. NASA and others. The list does not include satellite missions operated by telecommunication companies from the private sector, such as SES and Eutelsat.

Cosmic Vision is ESA's ten-year, space-science missions programme, starting in 2015. It succeeds the Horizon 2000 long-term scientific programme.

Active Missions

  • Artemis — Advanced telecommunication satellite.
  • CryoSat-2 — a three-year radar altimetry mission launched on 8 April 2010 to determine variations in the thickness of the Earth’s continental ice sheets and marine ice cover; built to replace Cryosat after launch failure.
  • Galileo positioning system — a satellite positioning system.
  • GIOVE-B — the second Galileo in-orbit validation satellite launched on April 2008.
  • Hubble Space Telescope — built and operated in cooperation with NASA.
  • IXV — Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle. Launch date: 11 February 2015
  • Mars Express — a space probe to Mars.
  • MetOp-A — is the first polar orbiting satellite dedicated to operational meteorology. A satellite to study temperature and humidity, wind speed and direction, ozone and other trace gases on Earth.
  • MetOp-B — the second satellite in the EUMETSAT Polar System (EPS), launched in 2012
  • Proba-1 — is the technology demonstration mini-satellite launched in 2001. It is the first satellite in the PROBA series
  • Proba-2 — the second satellite in the PROBA series, launched in 2009 together with SMOS.
  • Proba-V — a new satellite in the PROBA series, launched in May 2013. Main objective is to observe the ground vegetation on a global scale.
  • SMOS — the second Earth Explorer mission launched on November 2009 designed to measure Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity.
  • Swarm — a satellite mission to measure Earth's magnetic field.
  • Sentinel-1 — the first component of the GMES Space Segment, carrying a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) in C-Band, that will provide all-weather, day and night radar imaging for land and ocean services.

Horizon 2000 (1985)

  • Cornerstone 1SOHO — a space-based observatory to study the sun (together with NASA).
  • Cornerstone 1Cluster II — a group of four probes studying the magnetosphere.
  • Cornerstone 2XMM-Newton — an X-ray observatory satellite which participates in the Cosmic Evolution Survey.
  • Cornerstone 3Rosetta — a space probe launched in 2004 that is studying comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko until 2015. Rosetta became the first spacecraft to ever orbit a comet, which it has been doing so since 6 August 2014. Rosetta's lander named Philae successfully made a landing on the comet on November 12, 2014, becoming the first soft lander to land on a comet.
  • Medium-size 2INTEGRAL — is the first space observatory that can simultaneously observe objects in gamma rays, X-rays and visible light.

Horizon 2000+ (1994)

Future Missions

Horizon 2000+ (1994)

Cosmic Vision (2015–2025)

Main article: Cosmic Vision
  • L-class mission 2ATHENA — Mapping hot gas structures and searching for supermassive black holes. Launch date: 2028
  • L-class mission 1Juice — Europe's first dedicated Jupiter mission. Launch date: 2022
  • M-class mission 1Solar Orbiter — Europe's closest mission to the Sun. Launch date: 2018
  • M-class mission 2Euclid — Charting dark matter and dark energy's effects on the Universe. Launch date: 2020
  • M-class mission 3PLATO — Hunting planets beyond our solar system. Launch date: 2024
  • S-class missionCHEOPS — Studying planets around other stars. Launch date: 2017

Past Missions

  • ARD — a testbed for reentry technologies launched in 1998.
  • ESA-made instruments on Chandrayaan-1 — Indian space probe to the Moon launched on October 2008, functional until August 2009.
  • COROT — a space telescope for detecting rocky exoplanets larger than Earth. Launched Dec 2006. A project led by the French space agency CNES.
  • Cos-B — First project of ESA after foundation (in 1975).
  • Double Star Mission — probe to study effects of the sun on Earth (in cooperation with the China National Space Administration).
  • Envisat — is the world's largest and most complex environmental satellite.
  • ERS-1 — First Earth-observing satellite of ESA.
  • ERS-2 — is an earth-observing satellite launched in 1995. It is the successor to ERS-1.
  • EXOSAT — ESA's first X-ray observatory.
  • Giotto mission — First deep space mission of ESA, which went to Comet Halley.
  • GIOVE-A — Experimental satellite launched Dec 2005 as forerunner for the Galileo positioning system.
  • GOCE — a mission designed to measure the Earth's gravity field, launched on March 2009.
  • Hipparcos — A space-based astrometry mission.
  • ISO — Infrared Space Observatory.
  • IUE — Ultraviolet astronomical space observatory in cooperation with NASA.
  • Planck — The next generation Cosmic Microwave Background explorer, after COBE & WMAP. launched in May 2009.
  • SMART 1 — A lunar spaceprobe testing new propulsion technology.
  • Ulysses — A probe launched in 1990 to study the Sun's north and south poles.
  • YES2 — a young engineers' satellite to demonstrate the use of tethers for injection into re-entry orbit of the first students re-entry capsule ever.
  • Venus Express — a space probe to Venus which was launched in Nov 2005 and arrived in orbit around Venus in April 2006.

Horizon 2000 (1985)

Cancelled Missions

External links