Missions and Studies

Solar Orbiter Mission Solar Orbiter Satellite

The Electron Analyser System (EAS) is part of the Solar Wind Analyser (SWA) instrument suite on-board the Solar Orbiter spacecraft. A drawing of the Solar Orbiter spacecraft is shown above and EAS is located at the end of a boom to improve its coverage for detecting solar wind electrons. The Solar Orbiter mission is an M-class mission to study the sun and in particular how it creates and controls the heliosphere.


PoleCATS (the Polar test of the Conceptual And Tiny Spectrometer) is a selected project run by students from UKSEDS (UK Students for the Exploration and Development of Space) to fly the CATS analyser with a CCD detector on a sounding rocket from Kiruna in Arctic Sweden.  The experiment is designed to select electrons by energy and investigate the electron population through the rocket's trajectory.

REXUS experiments are launched on an unguided, spin-stabilised rocket powered by an Improved Orion Motor with 290 kg of solid propellant. It is capable of taking 40 kg of student experiment modules to an altitude of approximately 100 km. The vehicle has a length of approx. 5.6 m and a body diameter of 35.6 cm.

The REXUS/BEXUS programme is realised under a bilateral Agency Agreement between the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the Swedish National Space Board (SNSB). The Swedish share of the payload has been made available to students from other European countries through a collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA). 

EuroLaunch, a cooperation between the Esrange Space Center of SSC and the Mobile Rocket Base (MORABA) of DLR, is responsible for the campaign management and operations of the launch vehicles. Experts from ESA, SSC and DLR provide technical support to the student teams throughout the project.
REXUS and BEXUS are launched from SSC, Esrange Space Center in northern Sweden.

JUICE JUICE road to discovery

The JUpiter ICy moons Explorer (JUICE) is an L-Class mission that will study the Jupiter system.  This is an ambitious mission that will study the current state and evolution of a prototypical gas giant system and will greatly help in our understanding of other gas giant system found outside our own solar system. 

JUICE will carry a whole suite of instruments from ice-penetrating radar to detect warm ice water pockets in Europa; various cameras to characterize the surface and atmospheres of the moons to a particle package, which includes a plasma analyser, that will characterize the electrodynamic interactions between Jupiter and its moons Europa, Callisto and Ganymede.

Image of Moon Artists impression of Moon lander

ESA are planning a lunar lander mission as a precursor to human habitation of the Moon and eventually Mars. The Lunar lander mission is planned for launch in 2018

The mission objectives are to study new technology associated with propulsion and navigation as well as the planetology of the moon. The Lunar Dust Environment and Plasma Package (L-DEPP) will analyse the properties of the levitated dust and plasma in the lunar environment.

Page last modified on 04 sep 12 12:04