ESA Science & Technology - EChO
The Exoplanet Characterization Observatory (EChO) was a candidate mission for the M3 launch opportunity in ESA's Cosmic Vision programme. The mission was designed to measure the chemical composition and structure of hundred(s) of exoplanet atmospheres, with uninterrupted spectroscopic coverage from visible to infrared wavelengths. EChO targets would extend from gas giants (Jupiter- or Neptune-like) to super-Earths, in the very hot to temperate zones of F to M-type host stars, opening up the way to large-scale, comparitive planetology that would firmly place our own Solar System in the context of other planetary systems in the Milky Way. In February 2014 the PLATO mission was selected for the M3 launch opportunity.