ESA Science & Technology - PLATO
PLAnetary Transits and Oscillations of stars (PLATO) is the third medium-class mission in ESA's Cosmic Vision programme. Its objective is to find and study a large number of extrasolar planetary systems, with emphasis on the properties of terrestrial planets in the habitable zone around solar-like stars. PLATO has also been designed to investigate seismic activity in stars, enabling the precise characterisation of the planet host star, including its age.
Planet-hunting eye of PLATO
5 March 2021
Key technology for ESA's exoplanet-hunting PLATO spacecraft has passed a trial by vacuum to prove the mission will work as planned. This test replica of an 80-cm high, 12-cm aperture camera spent 17 days inside a thermal vacuum chamber.
Delivery of first detectors for PLATO's exoplanet mission
11 April 2019The first batch of charge-coupled devices, or CCDs, to be flown on ESA's PLATO space observatory was accepted by ESA last month. This is an important milestone on the road to creating a groundbreaking spacecraft that will detect Earth-sized exoplanets in orbit around nearby stars.
Construction of Europe's exoplanet hunter PLATO begins
4 October 2018The construction of ESA's PLATO mission to find and study planets beyond our Solar System will be led by Germany's OHB System AG as prime contractor, marking the start of the full industrial phase of the project.
Gravitational wave mission selected, planet-hunting mission moves forward
20 June 2017The LISA trio of satellites to detect gravitational waves from space has been selected as the third large-class mission in ESA's Science programme, while the PLATO exoplanet hunter moves into development.
PLATO Definition Study Report (Red Book)
4 April 2017Reference: ESA-SCI(2017)1. In February 2014, PLATO (PLAnetary Transits and Oscillation of stars) was selected as the M3 mission in the Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 programme. This report (also known as the Red Book) provides a high-level summary of the large number of scientific and technical documents produced as outcome of the definition study for...