Recently, mankind has been searching for exoplanets and for several years the European Space Agency (ESA) has been developing the Cheops space telescope, designed to search for planets similar to ours. Cheops is also called “the hunter of exoplanets” and has high hopes for him. And recently became known the launch date of the space telescope, as well as some other details.
Cheops (Characterising Exoplanet Satellite) should replace the Keppler telescope. The Assembly and the first tests of the spacecraft were completed in April 2018 on the basis of the Airbus Defence and Space research center. Cheops will work on the technology of tracking the brightness fluctuations of stars or the so-called transit method. The telescope will have to look for exoplanets, the masses of which are between the masses of the Earth and Neptune. At the same time, Cheops is aimed not only at finding new celestial bodies, but also at a more detailed study of already discovered planets, and in particular the chemical composition of their atmospheres. The telescope has the ability to simultaneously monitor several transits of each planet, which is necessary for a more accurate determination of the properties of small planets.
Cheops is designed to operate in low earth orbit at an altitude of 700 kilometers. The latest tests of the telescope should be completed early next year. The launch of the spacecraft is scheduled for the period from October 15 to November 14, 2019 from the Kourou spaceport In French Guiana. The delivery of the Cheops telescope will make the rocket “Soyuz”.
Also interesting is the fact that in addition to various equipment, the telescope will carry on Board special plates with children’s drawings on the subject of space, which were selected in the framework of the recent competition organized by the European Space Agency.