The PLATO (PLAnetary Transits and Oscillations of stars) mission will assemble the first catalogue of confirmed and characterised planets with known mean densities, compositions, and evolutionary ages/stages, including planets in the habitable zone of their host stars.
PLATO will characterise hundreds of rocky (including Earth twins), icy or giant planets by providing exquisite measurements of their radii (3 per cent precision), masses (better than 10 per cent precision) and ages (10 per cent precision). This will revolutionise our understanding of planet formation and the evolution of planetary systems.
Plato is ESA's third medium-class science mission and is planned for launch by 2025.
Maj : 26/01/2017 (3781)