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Cosmic Vision: Space Science for Europe 2015-2025

Cosmic Vision: Space Science for Europe 2015-2025

Publication date: 16 October 2005

Journal: ESA Brochure
Volume: BR-247
Page: pp. 1-111
Year: 2005

Copyright: ESA

Ten to twenty years from now, a succession of clever new spacecraft will need to be ready to fly in ESA's continuing Science Programme, now called Cosmic Vision. They will tackle some of the big scientific questions that are high on the agenda of research across Europe (and, indeed, worldwide) concerning the Universe and our place in it:

  • what are the conditions for planet formation and the emergence of life?
  • how does the Solar System work?
  • what are the fundamental physical laws of the Universe?
  • how did the Universe originate and what is it made of?

This brochure gives a detailed overview of the Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 plan. The opportunities under the above four main headings are presented, and specific aspects of each general theme that are judged to be especially ripe for investigation by new space tools in the period 2015-2025 are identified. A review of the technology that will have to be developed is given.

The presented planning on behalf of the scientific community and aerospace industry takes into account the Science Directorate's preliminary reckoning of the practical constraints of technology. In the section 'Proposed Strategies and Their Implementation', the outcome of these deliberations is summarised in four tables that correspond to the above four key questions.

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