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ESA Cosmic Vision Request for Proposals

Briefing Meeting Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 Call for Proposals
12 Apr 2007

More than 60 Letters Of Intent were received in response to ESA's Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 Call for Proposals. Wednesday, 11 April 2007, a briefing meeting to the proposers took place at ESTEC in Noordwijk, The Netherlands. The meeting comprised a number of presentations by ESA covering various aspects relative to the Call, followed by a session for questions from the proposers and for discussion.

The presentations of the briefing meeting are available in PDF format at:

This Call for proposals covers the first planning cycle of the new Cosmic Vision 2015-2025.

The Call will lead to the selection of one-medium sized mission (Class M mission) to enter the implementation phase in 2012, with a launch foreseen in the mid-2017 time-frame.

The Call also invites proposals for concepts of more ambitious missions of the flagship category (Class L mission concepts) that will require an extended preparation.

More info on Cosmic Vision can be found at:
According to ESA's Alvaro Giménez at the ESA DG press breakfast (01:58:02), Ariel was selected as the M4 component of the Cosmic Vision 2015–2025 program, but the start of the implementation phase is hindered by funding issues of the payload, thus the official selection is delayed; it remains suspenseful!
At the EGU General Assembly 2018, Günther Hasinger, new ESA Director of Science, outlined the future plans (1:54:32) for ESA's Science Programme. Hopefully it will get supported at the next Ministerial Council and NASA will want to take the big chance, this time.

Edit: And I wish I were 20 years younger. rolleyes.gif
At one point he mentions that from M4 forward every second M-Class mission should coincide/be co-launched with an F-Class mission. These F-Class start counting from F1.

Have such "F-Class" concepts been mentioned before in the context of Cosmic Vision?
(the name is somewhat reminiscent of the F-Mission/Flexi-Mission of the previous Horizon 2000+ programme)
Hmm... that's not too long before the first Apophis Earth flyby. I've wondered whether it would be possible for a small craft to rendezvous and fly alongside before and during the encounter. Some have predicted that the tidal stresses caused by Earth's gravitational tug will cause significant effects like landslides. These would expose relatively fresh surface material, in addition to having a much better idea of material and orbital properties for any future deflection.
This is only a secondary payload on an exoplanet observatory going to L2 though; not sure the orbital mechanics would be compatible.
I don't know how small you could make a spacecraft for a rendezvous with Apophis considering that the relative velocity would be on the order of 12 km/sec. If you're thinking of a cubesat flyby, sure, but that wouldn't be of much value.
Well there have been proposals for missions from China, Europe (and even the Planetary Society did a contest a while back). Last year some MIT students presented one to NASA officials. It seems quite detailed! (PDF)
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