The Centre for Planetary Sciences at UCL / Birkbeck



CPS Planetary Scientists are involved in a number of international space missions. These roles range from the leadership of missions and instruments, including the design and building of hardware, to scientific collaborations on missions with collaborators from all major space agencies.

Highlighted Missions:


The Cassini mission to Saturn and its complex planetary environment (1997-2017) consisted of the NASA-led Cassini orbiter, and the ESA-led Huygens lander - the first probe to land on the moon of another planet. MSSL led the Cassini Plasma Spectrometer electron spectrometer instrument (CAPS-ELS), and UCL staff also have scientific involvement in the mission’s MIMI and magnetometer teams.

ExoMars 2022 Rosalind Franklin Rover

ExoMars 2020 Rover
ExoMars is a joint endeavour between the European Space Agency and Russia's Roscomos agency, and consists of the 2016 Trace Gas Orbiter, and the 2022 Rosalind Franklin Rover. MSSL is leading the PanCam team to provide the rover's scientific ‘eyes’. The Rosalind Franklin Rover is scheduled to launch in September 2022 and arrive at Mars in June 2023. It will drill up to 2m below the harsh Martian surface to search for signs of past, or even present, life.

ARIEL Mission 

Ariel Mission
ARIEL (Atmospheric Remote-sensing Exoplanet Large-survey) is one of the three candidate missions selected by the European Space Agency for its next medium-class science mission due for launch in 2029. The goal of the ARIEL mission is to investigate the atmospheres of several hundreds planets orbiting distant stars in order to address the fundamental questions on how planetary systems form and evolve.


Mission Database: All missions with CPS involvement:


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