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Space EU

European Space Agency Picks Plato Planet-hunting Mission 32

Posted by timothy
from the in-space-they-don't-mind-if-you-look dept.
kc123 writes "A telescope to find worlds around other stars has been selected for launch by the European Space Agency's Science Policy Committee. Known as Plato (Planetary Transits and Oscillations of stars), the mission should launch on a Soyuz rocket in 2024. The Plato space telescope will prepare the way for scientists searching for alien life by locating the first genuinely Earth-like exoplanets orbiting nearby stars. It will break new ground in astronomy by using a "bug eye" array of 34 individual telescopes. The intention is for this array to sweep about half the sky, to investigate some of its brightest and nearest stars."
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European Space Agency Picks Plato Planet-hunting Mission

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  • ESA page (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Sven-Erik (177541) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @04:18PM (#46298155)

    Here [esa.int] is the ESA Plato page.

    • I thought the title read "European Space Agency Picks Pluto Planet-hunting Mission". My first thought was "They already found it!"
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Hooray for alliteration!

  • The telescope array was all but a shoe in... But I like where we are heading, more eyes watching the sky is a good thing.
  • So we can look at planets and count them and what out with a huge degree of error what is in their atmosphere. Wouldn't the money be better spent on warping spacetime research, fusion, ion thrusters, human stasis, anti-radiation shielding, and artificial gravity?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      It's pretty clear you don't get it. Why not spend money on flying carpets, astral projection, witch's brooms, and levitation? Just because the words you use are in "science" fiction movies doesn't make them real. They're just fantasies and wishes under another name.
    • Pull this [youtube.com] off (artificial wormhole/portal), and we won't need the rest of that stuff.

    • NASA has a department of Warp Field Mechanics already.

  • by Da Cheez (1069822) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @05:08PM (#46298677)
    With a name like Plato, I worry it won't see much other than shadows when searching for stars....
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I get it.
    Plato was a dude that did stuff a few years back and you want to honor him by using his name for your shiney new space toy.
    Really, all you're doing is weakening the name of your thing by naming it after another unrelated thing. I can't talk about "Plato" the telescope and not have people confuse it with Plato the philosopher.

    PTOS is a perfectly fine acronym.

    • by careysub (976506)

      ... I can't talk about "Plato" the telescope and not have people confuse it with Plato the philosopher.

      Easily fixed. Just have everyone start calling him by what the Classical Greeks actually called the philosopher, which was "Platon" (not "Plato"). Either that or start calling him by his birth-name Aristocles.

  • I'm very glad the project is going forward. But, 10 years?! I have to think the turnaround time could be improved with a little effort, imagination, and courage.
    • by bobbied (2522392)

      I'm very glad the project is going forward. But, 10 years?! I have to think the turnaround time could be improved with a little effort, imagination, and courage.

      You must be a project manager who doesn't work on government projects. Come on, this is the EU we are talking about. It's going to take them at least half that time to be on holiday.

  • that is now expensive and has had issues.
    It seems like the smart one might be to wait a bit longer and see what else is cheaper, bigger, better.
    • It's an ESA project, for political reasons this will use an ESA launcher. They added a Soyuz launchpad to the Kourou spaceport a few years ago to expand their launcher portfolio on the low end.

  • ... hunting missions. Can't wait for the next couple of thousand exoplanet discoveries!

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