content long 18-January-2019 22:02:27

Planning for a joint scientific space mission
An initiative of the European Space Agency and the Chinese Academy of Sciences

First Announcement

1st  Workshop
Planning for a joint scientific space mission
Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) - European Space Agency (ESA)
Chengdu (China)
25-26 February 2014

Updated 26 March 2014
: The presentations are available for download from the programme page. The posters are available for download from the list of posters.

Updated 21 February 2014: The programme and the list of posters are updated. The list of participants is added.

Updated 21 February 2014The "Participants Handbook" is available for download (pdf) from the right-hand menu, under documentation.

Updated 31 January 2014: Preliminary programme and list of posters online.

Updated 23 December 2013: Registration for 1st workshop is closed.

Updated 22 November 2013: Registration for 1st workshop is open; see below for details.

The European Space Agency's (ESA) Directorate of Science and Robotic Exploration (ESA-SRE) and the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS) have agreed to explore the possibility of identifying a scientific mission which could be jointly implemented by ESA-SRE and the Chinese National Space Science Centre (NSSC) under the CAS.

Purpose and Goals

The goal is to jointly define such a mission through cooperation between the European and Chinese scientific communities.

Activities would follow a collaborative approach through all the phases of the mission: study, definition, implementation, operations and scientific exploitation.

ESA and CAS have agreed that the first step in this process is to promote the interaction between Chinese and European scientists who would be interested in responding to a joint call for proposals for such a mission.

ESA and CAS have agreed that the first step in this process is to promote the interaction between Chinese and European scientists who would be interested in responding to a joint call for proposals for such a mission.

The 1st Workshop will be hosted by NSSC in Chengdu (China) on 25-26 February 2014.

The goals of this workshop are to:

  • Allow European and Chinese scientists to present ideas for cooperative missions, paving the way for potential partnerships.
  • Provide to the community guidelines on the technical and programmatic constraints that need to be considered by potential proposers.

After this first workshop, scientists are encouraged to start discussions with potential counterparts, looking for potential shared interests towards a joint mission proposal.

The 2nd Workshop, to be organised by ESA-SRE in Europe (location to be decided) on 24-26 September 2014, will focus on:

  • Presentations by joint European and Chinese teams on specific scientific objectives and early mission concepts to fulfil these objectives. These will allow ideas for potential joint missions to be further elaborated and scientific cooperation to be extended;
  • Providing more detailed information on the technical and programmatic requirements that need to be fulfilled by the proposed missions and about the terms, conditions and planning for the forthcoming Call.

A few months after the 2nd Workshop ESA and NSSC would, if an agreement in this direction is reached between the two entitities, issue a joint Call for missions. The proposed missions would have to comply with a number of criteria (to be defined along the preparation process), such as:

  • Proposals will have to be co-signed by two Co-PIs, one affiliated with an ESA Member State institution, the other with a Chinese institution;
  • Proposals will have to explicitly demonstrate compliance with the joint mission profiles previously defined by ESA and NSSC (detailed definition of these profiles will be part of the proposal information package);
  • Data policy will have to comply with ESA and NSSC rules;
  • Joint scientific preparation and exploitation will be enforced: all stages (including the data exploitation) will have to be performed by joint teams. Data rights will have to be in all cases shared;
  • Payload provision has to be open to both parties.

Format of the 1st workshop

The 1st workshop will be organised over 2 full days, 25 and 26 February 2014 in Chengdu.

Information about the 1st Workshop is posted on the dedicated ESA based web page and

The workshop will include three main elements:

  1. Presentations from ESA and CAS to:
    • Introduce the respective frameworks for this joint initiative
    • Provide preliminary guidelines about the applicable technical and programmatic constraints
  2. Invited talks from members of the Chinese and European scientific communities with the objective to:
    • Identify scientific themes that could be of interest to the Chinese and European scientific communities and could be implemented in response to the proposed Call.
    • - Discuss possible approaches for the implementation of a collaborative mission (possibly based on lesson learned from previous and/or current China-Europe collaborations);
  3. Contributed talks (and posters, if needed) on scientific themes/missions proposed by members of the Chinese and European scientific communities.

Participation will be open to the international community and will require registration (see below).

Contributed Speakers

Sufficient time in the Workshop schedule will be allocated to contributed speakers and – if needed – to posters.

Interested scientists may submit an extended abstract (2 pages maximum) of their intended contribution for the 1st Workshop according to the instructions given below.

In addition, scientists interested in presenting a contribution should submit an extended abstract (2 pages maximum) in PDF format + a 1 page brief Curriculum Vitae (CV) in the same file. The extended abstract should include (at least) the following information:

  1. Overview
  2. Science objectives
  3. Suggested payload
  4. Mission concept
  5. Potential areas of collaboration between the two communities
  6. Heritage from previous studies/missions

Submissions of extended abstracts are accepted exclusively in electronic form, using the online submission form that is accessible below (the form opens in a new window).

Registration Form
Registration is closed

NOTE: each PDF file must be less than 50 MB and must not be locked/protected.

Submission deadline: 20 December 2013, 12:00 CET (noon)/19:00 (Beijing Time)

Selection of extended abstracts

The submitted extended abstracts will be scrutinized by the Programme Organising Committee (POC) of the Workshop and assigned as oral or poster presentations. The Authors shall be informed about the POC decisions by 10 January 2014.

Information about the boundary conditions for the candidate missions

To ensure that the Call will result in feasible, cost-constrained mission concepts that could be implemented within the pre-defined programmatic constraints, only candidate mission concepts that comply with the boundary conditions being defined by ESA and CAS will be considered. For further details, please see the separate web page: 'boundary conditions for the candidate missions', linked also in the right-hand manu.

Timeline and deadlines

1st Announcement posted on web and sent to registered people 22 November 2013
Deadline for submitting extended abstracts 20 December 2013
Selection of oral and poster contributions 10 January 2014
2nd Announcement posted on web 30 January 2014
Final Agenda distributed to attendees 30 January 2014
1st CAS-ESA Workshop (Chengdu) 25-26 February 2014
2nd CAS-ESA Workshop (Europe) 24-26 September 2014
Indicative dates for following steps
Joint Call for missions 4th Quarter 2014
Selection of mission 3rd Quarter 2015
Study Phase 2 years
Implementation Phase 4 years
Launch 2021



European participants can contact Luigi Colangeli ( for further information.

Chinese participants can contact Lilin Sun ( for further information.

Last Update: 27 November 2014

For further information please contact:

Related Articles

Related Links