CHEOPS mission

CHEOPS space telescope: characterising extrasolar planets

CHEOPS - ESA's first exoplanetary mission
CHEOPS - ESA's first exoplanetary mission
Credit: ESA / ATG medialab

CHEOPS - ESA's first exoplanetary mission

Artist's impression of ESA's CHEOPS (Characterising Exoplanet Satellite) mission with an exoplanetary system in the background.

The main objective of the Characterising Exoplanet Satellite (CHEOPS) mission is to investigate the structure of exoplanets larger than Earth but smaller than Neptune, or with a diameter of between 10,000 and 50,000 kilometres.

Today, we know of more than 4000 exoplanets, which have been discovered by ground-based telescopes or by space telescopes such as Kepler, TESS and CoRoT. The Kepler mission has been particularly prolific in revealing planetary candidates, but many of the Kepler ‘candidates’ still remain to be checked and confirmed. As such, CHEOPS’ main task is to determine the size, orbital period and physical characteristics of these planets by measuring the light curves of bright stars during so-called transits – the path of the exoplanet in its orbit when it crosses the star’s disc – and their associated dimming.

  • Falk Dambowsky
    German Aerospace Center (DLR)
    Media Relations
    Telephone: +49 2203 601-3959
    Fax: +49 2203 601-3249
    Linder Höhe
    51147 Cologne
  • Heike Rauer
    German Aerospace Center (DLR)
    Institute of Planetary Research
    Telephone: +49 30 67055-430
    Fax: +49 30 67055-384
    Rutherfordstraße 2
    12489 Berlin
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