The development of the ESA PLATO mission, which will consist in the search and study of planets outside our Solar system, will address the German OHB System AG. The project comes into full industrial phase. This was announced at the 69th International Astronautical Congress in Bremen, Germany, where the contract was signed. The new satellite will be in orbit 2026. The contract specifies such items as the delivery of the satellite, including the testing phase prior to launch, support during the launch campaign and phase control in orbit.
PLATO, or the PLAnetary Transits and Oscillations of stars mission (“mission planetary transits and oscillations of stars”), will be launched in 2026 for ecosanity planetary systems (exoplanets), with special emphasis on solid planets near stars like the Sun within the habitable zones — that is, the distance from a star where liquid water on the surface of the planet.
“Plato” will search for exoplanets
“There is in the Universe’s second Earth? This is one of the most interesting questions of modern astrophysics,” says Johann-Dietrich wörner, CEO of the ESA. “With our companion PLATO, we will focus on earth-like planets, which revolve in a potentially habitable zone around other stars similar to our Sun. This is an important step in the search for another Earth”.
“PLATO is a ekzoplaneta mission of the new generation, which will track thousands of bright stars in the sky in search of tiny, recurrent blackouts brightness caused by planetary transits,” says Ana Heras, scientist ESA project PLATO.
“Because the planet blocks only a small portion of the light emitted by the parent star, this task will require extremely accurate, long-term photometric observations”.
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