content long 16-July-2019 14:10:27

Cosmic Vision

Call for proposals; missions selected

Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 is the current cycle of ESA's long-term plan for space science missions. The first Call for missions in this cycle was issued in March 2007. Since then, the programme has grown to include CHEOPS (CHaracterizing ExOPlanet Satellite), a small (S-class) mission to be launched in 2019; SMILE, a collaborative mission between ESA and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, scheduled for launch in 2023; Solar Orbiter, Euclid, PLATO, and ARIEL, four medium (M-class) missions with launch slots in the 2020s; and JUICE (Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer), Athena (Advanced Telescope for High-ENergy Astrophysics), and LISA (Laser Interferometer Space Antenna), three large (L-class) missions for launch in the 2020s and 2030s. In 2018, a call for a Fast (F) mission was issued; the selection process for this is still ongoing.

Building the programme

The missions in the current Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 portfolio were proposed by the European space science community responding to a regular series of open Calls for mission proposals, issued by ESA, to address the scientific themes established for Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 – see Table 1.

Table 1: Building the science programme – missions in Cosmic Vision 2015-2025
Date of Call Mission class Candidate missions Selected missions
March 2007 Medium (M1) Cross-Scale, Euclid, Marco Polo, PLATO, Solar Orbiter, SPICA Solar Orbiter
Medium (M2) Euclid
Large (L1) IXO, Laplace (reformulated as JUICE), LISA JUICE
July 2010 Medium (M3) EChO, LOFT, MarcoPolo-R, PLATO, STE-QUEST PLATO
March 2012 Small (S1) CHEOPS CHEOPS
January 2014 Large (L2) Athena Athena
August 2014 Medium (M4) ARIEL, THOR, XIPE ARIEL
January 2015 Mission in cooperation with CAS (1) SMILE SMILE
April 2016 Medium (M5) EnVision, SPICA, THESEUS M5 selection planned for 2021
October 2016 Large (L3) LISA LISA
July 2018 Fast (F) Call is open until 20 March 2019 F candidate selection planned for 2019

(1) ESA and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) issued a joint call for a mission

In addition to issuing Calls for mission proposals, ESA also invited the space science community to propose new science ideas for future space missions. In April 2017, from the proposals that had been submitted, ESA identified three themes for which the following studies were performed:


Last Update: 06 February 2019

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