The space telescope CHEOPS (CHaracterising ExOPlanet Satellite) has left a clean room in Switzerland, where it was assembled and tested, and is on its way to Madrid for further launch preparations. The telescope will study hundreds of known exoplanets using the transit method - measuring the dip in light as a planet transits its parent star.
CHEOPS will herald a new era of discovery. Its precision measurements will give more detailed information about a planet’s structure, atmosphere and surface temperature. It was built at the University of Bern and the mission is a partnership between ESA and Switzerland with additional contributions from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
Integration and testing of the CHEOPS spacecraft is ongoing and the project is on track to reach flight readiness by the end of 2018.
This film contains soundbites from Willy Benz, CHEOPS principal investigator, ESA/University of Bern and Andrea Fortier, Cheops Instrument Scientist, ESA/University of Bern.