ESA SP-1296: ESA's Report to the 36th COSPAR Meeting
Publication date: 15 Jun 2006
Journal: ESA Special Publication
Copyright: ESAScientific editor: R. Marsden
Editor: A. Wilson
The report for the 36th COSPAR Meeting covers, as in previous issues, the missions of the Scientific Programme of ESA in the areas of astronomy, Solar System science and fundamental physics. This year's COSPAR meeting will take place only weeks before the end of the SMART-1 mission to the Moon, a technology project that provided the first European look at our natural satellite from lunar orbit.In October of this year, a new mission will be launched: COROT. ESA, together with a number of countries, is contributing to this unique, French-led project that will provide an insight into the interior of the stars, by means of the asteroseismology technique successfully applied by SOHO. COROT will also perform a systematic search for new extrasolar planets using photometric transits. The record number of ESA Science Programme missions in operation established at the time of the last report was maintained in 2006 (Huygens having been replaced in the list by Venus Express). Eleven different missions, involving 14 operating spacecraft, are providing excellent science to the worldwide scientific community. The Research and Scientific Support Department (RSSD) is responsible for the science operations of these missions and makes every effort to ensure the best possible science return. The Department also supports the realisation of approved projects in all phases of their development.