CHEOPS, the first of ESA's S-class missions, will study super-Earths
Artist impression of CHEOPS (Image: University of Bern)
CHEOPS will use the transit method to measure the radii of exoplanets (Image: CNES)
The European Space Agency (ESA) is set to give existing orbiting probes, such as COROT and Kepler, a helping hand in studying super-Earths. Selected from 26 proposals, the CHEOPS (CHaracterising ExOPlanets Satellite) spacecraft is the first S-class (“small”) mission in the ESA’s Science Programme. A partnership between the ESA and the Swiss Space Office, CHEOPS will not seek out new exoplanets, but will instead target nearby, bright stars that are already known to have orbiting planets.
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