The ESA Director of Science solicits proposals from the scientific community in ESA Member States for a Fast (F) mission to be launched in the 2026-2028 timeframe.
ESA’s Science Programme is based on long-term planning of scientific goals. The Cosmic Vision plan (available as ESA BR-247) was established in 2005 on the basis of a bottom-up process that started with a consultation of the broad scientific community. The plan contains the wide-ranging and ambitious scientific questions to be addressed by missions in the ESA Science Programme.
The foundations of the Science Programme are the Large (L-class) and Medium (M-class) missions that ensure European leadership in a number of fields. Focused, smaller missions of opportunity are also a feature of the Programme — these have provided opportunities for experimenting with new approaches without impacting the integrity of the Programme.
This Call for a Fast mission aims at defining a mission of modest size (wet mass less than 1000 kg) to be launched towards the Sun-Earth L2 Lagrange point as a co-passenger to the ARIEL M mission, or possibly the PLATO M mission. From L2 the mission should reach its target orbit or destination with its own propulsion system.
- Phase-1 proposal submission deadline: 25 October 2018
- Phase-2 proposal submission deadline: 20 March 2019