ESA title
Science & Exploration

Call for media: Meet Europe’s exoplanet satellite Cheops

14/05/2018 1176 views 22 likes
ESA / Science & Exploration / Space Science

*Please note this event has been postponed until October. Revised details will be provided nearer the time*

Media are invited to join experts of the Characterising Exoplanets Satellite, Cheops, at Airbus Defence and Space in Madrid, Spain, for a unique opportunity to visit the spacecraft in the clean room on 22 May.

Cheops will make observations of exoplanet-hosting stars to measure small changes in their brightness due to the transit of a planet across the star's disc. The information will help to reveal the size of planets circling other stars, especially those in the Earth-to-Neptune mass range – a first step to characterising planets outside our Solar System.

Artist impression of Cheops
Artist impression of Cheops

The science instrument that will make these measurements recently arrived at Airbus in Madrid, following testing at the University of Bern in Switzerland, for integration with the spacecraft platform. This includes being combined with the solar panels, thrusters, radio transmitters and reaction wheels needed for power, propulsion, communications and attitude control, respectively.

The completed satellite is currently undergoing essential tests and checks at Airbus as part of launch preparations. It will only be there for a few weeks before moving on for final thermal, vibration and acoustic testing in various locations across Europe. Final checks will be conducted when it returns in October, and then it will be packed and prepared for shipment to Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

Cheops, which is implemented as a partnership between ESA and Switzerland, is on track to be ready for launch by the end of the year.

This event offers one of the first – and last – opportunities for media to view the complete satellite before its launch.


(All times CEST)

10:30 Arrival to Antares Room at Airbus

11:00  Welcome by José Guillamón, Head of Site and Airbus Space Systems in Spain

11:05 Nicola Rando, Cheops project manager, ESA
Introduction to Cheops and status update

11:15 Andrés Borges, Cheops Programme Manager at Airbus
Insights from industry and future steps towards launch and in-orbit commissioning 

11:25 Ignasi Ribas, Cheops science team, Institut de Ciències de l’Espai & Institut d’Estudis Espacials de Catalunya, Barcelona
Cheops science and contribution to exoplanet studies

11:35 Eva María Vega Carrasco, Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespecial, Madrid
Mission operations

11:45 Q&A

12:00 onwards
Photo and video opportunity in the clean room to view Cheops.


Media can register by writing to and will be asked to complete a registration form. Photo and video cameras are also to be registered.

Airbus (Antares Room)
Avenida de Aragón 404
28022 Madrid

More about Cheops:

For further information, please contact:
ESA Media Relations Office
Tel: +33 1 53 69 72 99

Francisco Lechón
Tel: +34 630 196 993

Beatriz Arias
ESAC communication Office/Media Relations
Tel: +34 918131359

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