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Coming soon: calls to prepare ESA's science programme for 2035–2050

Coming soon: calls to prepare ESA's science programme for 2035–2050

18 February 2019

What are the outstanding questions that ESA's science programme should address in the period 2035–2050? This is what the scientific community will be asked to consider when the next phase of the Agency's long-term planning for the science programme starts in earnest very soon.

Voyage 2050 is ESA's science programme for 2035–2050. Preparation of this programme will involve the participation of the widest possible scientific community, as long-term planning of ESA's science programme has always relied on this bottom-up approach.

The priorities for the planning activity at this time are to identify the scientific themes for the next three cornerstones missions (i.e. those that will fly in the 2035–2050 period), to gather recommendations on affordable and scientifically compelling areas for medium-sized (M-class) missions – and possibly smaller missions – and to help in defining a strategic view for future technology developments, also beyond 2050.

To guide this important community consultation, Günther Hasinger, ESA Director of Science, has appointed a Senior Committee, chaired by Linda Tacconi and Chris Arridge, with members: Alessandra Buonanno, Mike Cruise, Olivier Grasset, Amina Helmi, Luciano Iess, Eiichiro Komatsu, Jérémy Leconte, Jorrit Leenaarts, Jesús Martín Pintado, Rumi Nakamura, and Darach Watson.

The Senior Committee will be supported by a number of Topical Teams. A Call for membership of these Topical Teams will be issued by ESA in a few weeks' time and appointments to the teams are planned to be made by May.

In addition, the science community will be invited to respond to a Call for White Papers to be issued in parallel to the Topical Team call. This Call for White Papers will solicit proposals for scientific themes to be translated into space science missions in the 2035–2050 time frame.

Later this year, in the October/November time frame, a workshop will be held during which the themes proposed in the White Papers will be presented to the broad scientific community.

The Topical Teams will be required to assess the received White Papers and report their findings to the Senior Committee.

The Senior Committee will present their recommendations to the Director of Science by the summer of 2020.

Tentative timeline

December 2018 Senior Committee appointed
February 2019 Call for membership of Topical Teams – response time about 2 months
February 2019 Call for White Papers – response time about 4 months
May 2019 Topical Team members appointed
October/November 2019 Workshop to present White Papers
Summer 2020 Senior Committee recommendations presented to Director of Science

For further details, please contact:

Fabio Favata
Head of the Strategy, Planning, and Coordination Office
Directorate of Science
European Space Agency
Email: fabio.favata@esa.int

Luigi Colangeli
Head of the Science Coordination Office
Directorate of Science
European Space Agency
Email: luigi.colangeli@esa.int

Last Update: 1 September 2019
11-Aug-2020 04:02 UT

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