The European Space Agency has built and successfully flown many missions and instruments over a period of about 40 years (which includes the ESRO timeframe).
The experience built up over such a period represents a valuable asset to be actively used in future projects in order to avoid repeating previous mistakes.
Key activities in this area are:
The information available from previous science projects is stored in the directorate data management system to the benefit of future missions. This data allows us to make better judgments related to future mission studies and payload selection.
An example of these activities is represented by a preliminary study conducted on the potential application of recurring platforms to future science missions. The preliminary analysis uses the example of Herschel and Planck as a study case.