Image: ESA's Cheops satellite

Image: ESA’s Cheops satellite
Credit: Airbus Defence and Space

ESA's Cheops satellite – seen here at Airbus in Madrid – will measure the sizes of known exoplanets by detecting tiny fluctuations in the light of their parent stars. Due to be ready for launch at the end of this year, Cheops, or 'CHaracterising ExOPlanet Satellite' is only 1.5 m by 1.4 m by 1.5 m in size. It weighs in at about 300 kg fully fuelled – less than a large motorbike.

Small satellites as a term covers everything from this sub-tonne class of mission, down to CubeSats and picosats. Their ever-growing capabilities is under discussion at this week's 4S Small Satellite Systems and Services Symposium in Sorrento, Italy. Organised by ESA's Head of Optics, Luca Maresi, the symposium's speakers include Roger Walker, who leads ESA's Technology CubeSat efforts on sending beyond Earth orbit.


Explore further

Image: Cheops solar cells

Citation: Image: ESA's Cheops satellite (2018, May 30) retrieved 17 June 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-image-esa-cheops-satellite.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
6 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more