European Exoplanet Mission Launches Successfully

Share

After Delays Earlier This Week, A Suyoz Rocket Blasted Off This Morning With a New European Exoplanet Mission

Exoplanets are something of a craze among astronomers these days. Ever since scientists confirmed their existence back in 1992, they’ve have been eager to study as many as possible. If you’re unfamiliar with exoplanets, the short version is they’re planets outside of our solar system. Now a new European exoplanet mission is on its way into orbit to study as many of these strange new worlds as possible. 

Why Exoplanet Discovery is Significant

When it comes to arguing about the cosmos with people who don’t really know anything about science (something one should just avoid, if I’m being honest), it helps to agree on the basic facts first. In the case of that question all space nerds ask themeslves, exoplanets form the foundation of the answer. The question? “Are we alone in the universe?”

We have found compelling evidence that life could have existed on Mars millions of years ago. Many scientists also claim that life could exist right now on the moons of Jupiter and Saturn. In fact, there’s life on the Moon right now. Israel crashed a lander there a few months back and littered the surface with thousands of dehydrated tardigrades. Tardigrades can survive in the vacuum of space for up to ten years. So, if NASA succeeds in putting a woman on the Moon in four years, she could theoretically revive them. 

So… case closed, right?

Not so fast. That’s just proof that life can exist within our solar system. If you want to be really heliocentric about it, (especially given certain creationist models) you could say that all life originated on Earth and was then carried across space on meteorites after a giant impact. That’s one interpretation of the panspermia theory, which we covered yesterday. Those people who are bound and determined to validate their non-scientific cosmological views might even deny the existence of other planets beyond our own solar system. 

So having verifiable proof of their existence is pretty important.

This Is CHEOPS’ Mission

The European exoplanet mission that launched today—called the Characterizing Exoplanet Satellite (CHEOPS)—will study in great detail those exoplanets we already know about. The hope is, by studying their characteristics, such as orbital patterns, researchers can verify which of these exoplanets could possibly support life and which ones couldn’t. The satellite launched aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket this morning at 3:54 am EST from a Europen Space Agency launch center in French Guiana. 

Check out the Launch Video:

Read More:



Love Space Porn? Please consider supporting the site by getting some great merch from the Marketplace, or by becoming a patron and unlocking some sweet perks for yourself. We really appreciate it!

Brandon Humphreys

Brandon Humphreys

I'm a wizard. I write stuff and it goes from my head into yours - Magic! Apart from that, I am the Senior Editor for Space Porn, a veteran, a rock guitarist, and a teacher.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply