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CHEOPS launch

CHEOPS launch

Date: 05 November 2019
Copyright: ESA/ATG medialab

Animation visualising the launch of ESA's CHEOPS mission.

CHEOPS will lift off as a secondary passenger on a Soyuz-Fregat rocket, sharing the ride into space with a satellite that is part of the Italian Cosmo-SkyMed constellation. Cosmo-SkyMed will sit on top of CHEOPS inside the fairing. The launcher will also carry five 'CubeSats', small satellites based on standardised 10 cm cubic units (visible on either side of CHEOPS in this animation). This includes ESA's OPS-SAT, a 30 cm high satellite with a powerful computer to demonstrate improved mission control capabilities.

ESA invited early-career graphic artists to submit a design for the mission sticker to be used on the fairing of the rocket. The colourful winning design, selected from more than 300 entries, was made by graphic designer Denis Vrenko from Slovenia. It captures the scientific essence of the mission, focusing on transiting planets and different star systems.

The launcher will deliver CHEOPS directly to its operational orbit, a Sun-synchronous dusk–dawn orbit 700 km above Earth. This orbit allows the rear of the craft to permanently face the Sun with a minimum number of eclipses, offering a stable thermal environment and keeping stray light to a minimum while the instrument is observing night-side targets in the direction opposite to the Sun. During each orbit the satellite will slowly rotate around the telescope line of sight to keep the instrument radiators orientated away from Earth and therefore maintain the required detector temperature stability needed for precise measurements.

Last Update: 6 November 2019
29-Feb-2024 11:42 UT

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