The Characterising Exoplanet Satellite, CHEOPS, has successfully passed the final analysis review for its launch on a Soyuz rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. As ESA announced today, all technical evaluations performed by Arianespace on the mission’s key aspects, including the launch trajectory and payload separation, have shown positive results.
Artist’s impression of CHEOPS in orbit above Earth. (Image ESA)
Arianespace’s launch manifest for the coming months is currently under discussion, with the exact date for CHEOPS shipment to the Spaceport, and its launch date, to be confirmed at a later stage. The mission is foreseen to launch in the last quarter of 2019.
“We are delighted that, after six years of intensive work, it is about to start soon, even though the launch is always a delicate and stressful moment,” says Willy Benz from the University of Bern, Principal Investigator of the CHEOPS mission. This will be a great moment for all involved, especially Switzerland, as David Ehrenreich, CHEOPS project scientist at the University of Geneva, points out: “CHEOPS was developed thanks to a good collaboration between Swiss universities and industry – this shows that Switzerland is a space nation”.
Media Release of ESA
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