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ESA's Collaborative Missions

ESA's Collaborative Missions

Alongside the main projects of the Science Programme ESA Science is also involved in a number of collaborative missions.


Websites: JAXA, ESA

Suzaku (previously called Astro-E2) was launched by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and developed in collaboration with U.S. (NASA/GSFC and MIT) and Japanese institutes. Suzaku covers the energy range 0.3-600 keV and is currently performing astronomical observations using imaging CCD cameras (XIS) and a hard X-ray detector (HXD).

Launched: 10 July 2005

15 December 2014 - Suzaku 10th Announcement of Opportunity


Websites: JAXA, ESA

AKARI (formerly ASTRO-F), is the second space mission for infrared astronomy, from the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS) of the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). Its main objective is to perform an all-sky survey with better sensitivity, spatial resolution and wider wavelength coverage than IRAS, mapping the entire sky in six infrared bands from 9 to 180 micron.

Launched: 21 February 2006

4 May 2015 - AKARI far-infrared all-sky data released


Website: Jaxa

Hinode (formerly SOLAR-B) is the third solar physics satellite of ISAS and the successor of the Japan/US/UK YOHKOH (SOLAR-A) collaboration. SOLAR-B was successfully launched and placed in a polar, sun-synchronous orbit around the Earth by a M-V launch vehicle from the Uchinoura Space Center (USC). In this orbit the instruments are in continuous sunlight, with no day/night cycling for eight months each year.

Launched: 22 September 2006

30 May 2007 - Science Archive Online


Website: CNES

CoRoT (Convection, Rotation and planetary Transits) is the first space mission dedicated to exoplanetary research and designed for this purpose. The spacecraft is equipped with a 27 cm-diameter afocal telescope and a 4-CCD wide-field camera, is built around the PROTEUS spacecraft bus, and operates in a low-Earth orbit (LEO) of ~900 km (polar). Launched in December 2006 the mission has a nominal lifetime of 2.5 years (with possible extensions) during which time it will study stellar interiors and search for exoplanets. The project is led by CNES, with contributions from ESA, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Spain and Brazil.

Launched: 27 December 2006

14 June  2010 - CoRoT unveils a rich assortment of new exoplanets


Website: CNSA

Chang'e-1 is an un-manned lunar orbiting spacecraft and represents the initial phase of the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program. ESA is collaborating with the Chinese on this mission by providing spacecraft and ground operations support services to CNSA. The two agencies will also share data and encourage a visitors’ programme so that researchers can learn from each other.

Launched: 24 October 2007


Website: ISRO

Chandrayaan-1 is a mission of the Indian Space Research Organisation. In June 2005 an agreement was reached with ESA to provide a low X-ray spectrometer, a near infra-red spectrometer and a sub-keV atom reflecting analyser all to be built by institutes with the member states. Contact with the spacecraft was lost on 28 August 2009.

Launched: 22 October 2008

11 September 2009 - Chandrayaan-1 loses radio contact

Phobos-Soil (Phobos-Grunt)

Websites: Russian Space Web, CNES, ESA

Phobos-Soil (Russian name: Phobos-Grunt) was designed for a comprehensive study of the larger of the two Martian moons. The mission consisted of a spacecraft that would observe Phobos and its environment from orbit, a lander that would study it in situ, and a return module that would bring soil samples back to Earth. A Chinese orbiter, Yinghuo-1 (YH-1), piggybacked with the mission to be delivered in orbit around Mars. The spacecraft was launched on 8 November 2011, but the injection into an Earth-escape trajectory to Mars failed and contact with the spacecraft was lost. It eventually re-entered Earth's atmosphere and crashed into the Pacific ocean on 15 January 2012.

Launched: 8 November 2011


Website: CNES

MICROSCOPE (MICRO-Satellite à traînée Compensée pour l'Observation du Principe d'Equivalence) is the third microsatellite of the CNES Myriade series. The main scientific objective is testing of the Equivalence Principle with a 100 times better accuracy than realised with experiments on Earth.

Launched: 25 April 2016

26 April 2016 - Space Microscope to test universality of freefall


Last Update: 1 September 2019
13-Jun-2024 21:15 UT

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