ESA science programme planning cycles
The Science Programme of the European Space Agency (ESA) relies on long-term planning of its scientific priorities. The first long-term plan, Horizon 2000, was the result of an exercise started in 1983, and it was followed by an extension, Horizon 2000 Plus, that resulted in the initiation of the Gaia and BepiColombo missions.
The successive planning exercise, Cosmic Vision, was started in 2004 and is the current basis against which the content of the Science Programme is set. Cosmic Vision is the result of a bottom-up process that began with a consultation of the broad scientific community. The plan, which comprises a variety of missions and extends up to 2035, defines the wide-ranging and ambitious scientific questions to be addressed by missions in the ESA Science Programme.
The next planning cycle of the ESA Science Programme, Voyage 2050, is now underway.