The mission

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.

The launch

  • Launch date: 18 December 2019
  • Launch site: Kourou, French Guiana
  • Launcher: Soyuz-Fregat
  • Orbit: Sun-synchronous, dusk-dawn orbit at 700 km above Earth


  • Science & Exploration

    Watch Cheops launch live

    17/12/2019 24940 views 116 likes
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    Cheops launch