The European Space Agency (ESA) has announced the launch of the Cheops satellite, which specializes in extra-solar planets (exoplanets), between October 15 and November 14, 2019, the organization said in a statement.
Cheops takes off on the Soyuz rocket of the European space port of Kourou (French Guiana) and will be headed by the French company Arianespace.
The satellite "will observe every bright star in which existence is known" of extrasolar planets, especially those that range in size from "Earth to Neptune."
"By knowing the planets, Cheops will know exactly when and where to aim to capture the exoplanet as it travels through its star disk, its ability to observe the multiple transits of each planet will allow scientists to measure the size of small planets," he said. .
Cheops is now in Spain to "complete the final tests before being declared eligible for launch in early 2019" after completing a series of "environmental tests" at the ESA technical center in the Netherlands.
Inside the Soyuz, it will share the space travel with another device, in this case, one of the four satellites belonging to the Italian constellation, Cosmo-SkyMed.
Soon after the climb "the two satellites will separate at the same time in their own orbits, with Cheops operating in a low Earth orbit, at an altitude of 700 km," the agency explained.
The satellite "will observe all the bright stars in which the existence" of extrasolar planets is known. (ARCHIVE)
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