Exoplanet mission timeline
The CHEOPS mission in the context of previous and future space missions dedicated to exoplanet science (top) and exoplanet-sensitive missions (bottom).
The Characterising Exoplanet Satellite, CHEOPS, will observe bright stars known to host exoplanets, in particular Earth-to-Neptune-sized planets, anywhere in the sky. By knowing exactly where and when to look for transits, and being able to return to repeatedly observe the same targets, CHEOPS will become the most efficient instrument to study individual exoplanets. It will record the precise sizes of these relatively small planets and combined with mass measurements already calculated from other observatories, will enable the planet's density to be determined, and thus make a first-step characterisation of the nature of these worlds.
CHEOPS will also identify candidates for additional study by future missions. For example, it will provide well-characterised targets for the international James Webb Space Telescope, which will perform further detailed studies of their atmospheres.
A generic version of this infographic, along with information on all the other missions shown, is available here.
Note: This graphic was updated in 2020.