Over the past 50 years, Europe has marked a series of firsts in the exploration of the Solar System and of our Universe: from an encounter with Comet Halley in 1986, parachuting a probe on to Saturn’s moon Titan in 2005 and landing on a comet in 2014, to studying our Sun in unprecedented detail and photographing the farthest galaxies.
To continue such successful achievements, ESA is now looking ahead to the next 20 years with its Cosmic Vision programme.
Several fundamental themes lie at the core of this programme:
- the conditions for planetary formation and the emergence of life
- how the Solar System works
- the fundamental physical laws of the Universe
- the origins of the Universe and what it is made of.