2005 ESLAB Symposium
20 April 2005The 39th ESLAB Symposium opened yesterday with a summary, by Giovanni Bignami (Chairman of ESA Space Science Advisory Committee), on the current status of the Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 long-term plan. Over the coming days scientists, largely from across Europe, will discuss the various ways to bring about the fulfilment of the plan.
The plan, drawn up from ideas submitted and developed at the Cosmic Vision Workshop held in Paris last September, is shaped around four key questions:
- What are the conditions for life and planetary formation?
- How does the Solar System work?
- What are the fundamental laws of the Universe?
- How did the Universe originate and what is it made of?
Within each of these main areas there exists the scope for different mission scenarios covering solar system exploration, astrophysics, cosmology and highly precise fundamental physics experiments. A range of missions designed to cover one, or more, of these disciplines will be necessary in order to attempt to provide answers.
The Way Forward
Within the budget constraints of the Agency it is proposed that the 2015-2025 plan be implemented in three phases over a number of years. The first phase will contain development of missions for launch in the period 2015-2018. For a launch opportunity in 2015 for the first mission, a call for mission proposals will be required in early 2006.