7-11 June 2021
Europe/Paris timezone

Once explorers, always explorers Recent highlights from ESA's science and exploration programmes

7 Jun 2021, 11:30


Prof. Mark McCaughrean (ESA)


The European Space Agency's science and exploration missions have been much in the news in
recent years, with exciting results from its Gaia Milky Way surveyor and other astronomical
observatories, the decade-long adventure of the Rosetta comet-chasing spacecraft and its
Philae lander, the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter at the Red Planet, and the launch of the
international BepiColombo and Solar Orbiter missions to Mercury and the Sun, respectively.
In this talk, I'll give you some insight into these missions and others in ESA's fleet, their
challenges and scientific discoveries, and tell you what's coming next as we continue our
exploration of the solar system and the wider Universe beyond. These include a new mission
to Jupiter and new space telescopes spanning the electromagnetic spectrum, as well as
preparations for humans to return to the Moon and travel beyond.

Professor Mark McCaughrean is the Senior Advisor for Science and Exploration at the European
Space Agency. He is also responsible for communicating results from ESA’s astronomy, heliophysics,
planetary, and exploration missions to the scientific community and wider public. After studying
at the University of Edinburgh, he worked at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, astronomical
institutes in Tucson, Heidelberg, Bonn, and Potsdam, and the University of Exeter before joining
ESA in 2009. His scientific research focuses on the formation of stars and their planetary
systems, and he is an Interdisciplinary Scientist for the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope.
He is the co-founder of Space Rocks, which celebrates space exploration and the art, music, and
culture it inspires through public events and more.

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