March 13, 2012

ESA to Support Mini Missions

The ESA (European Space Agency) announced its first 65,880,000 (50 million euros) prize in its new “S-Class” space missions, to be readied for launch in 2017.

The call for projects goes out especially to young scientists and research teams from smaller member states. According to Professor mark McCaughrean, head of ESA´s Research and Scientific Support Department, “We see a dearth of people being trained in space science in satellites, and this can pick those people up and help bring them on so that by the time they get to work on some of our big missions they already have experience.”

S-Class missions are smaller missions that are flown in the midst of large L-Class and medium M-Class missions. The only limits on the missions are that the cost of the mission be within a very tight cost framework, and the timeframe of the mission should not exceed four years.

According to the press release, “the present call therefore imposes as little restrictions as possible to the implementation scheme for the proposed missions allowing the scientific community to bring forward novel ideas and explore approaches complementary to the current components of the ESA space program.”

Interested parties are in a time-crunch in order to put their applications in on time. The letter of intent submissions are due by March 23, 2012. The letter is mandatory, otherwise they will not be considered.

Proposals have to be submitted electronically by June 15, 2012 and will be evaluated from July to October 2012.


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