Cheops, ESA’s first exoplanet mission
Science & Exploration

What is Cheops?

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ESA / Science & Exploration / Space Science / Cheops

Cheops is ESA's CHaracterising ExOPlanet Satellite. It is the first mission dedicated to studying bright, nearby stars that are already known to host exoplanets, in order to make high-precision observations of the planet's size as it passes in front of its host star. It will focus on planets in the super-Earth to Neptune size range, with its data enabling the bulk density of the planets to be derived – a first-step characterisation towards understanding these alien worlds.

Cheops paves the way for the next generation of ESA's exoplanet satellites, with two further missions – Plato and Ariel – planned for the next decade to tackle different aspects of the evolving field of exoplanet science.

Cheops is the first small, or S-class, mission in ESA’s science programme. It is a partnership between ESA and Switzerland, with a dedicated Consortium led by the University of Bern, and with important contributions from 10 other ESA Member States.

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