RAL Space Involvement
Consortium project management. The Ariel payload will be assembled and tested at RAL Space's National Satellite Test Facility.
To answer fundamental questions about how planetary systems form and evolve. Ariel will observe around 1000 planets orbiting distant stars, ranging from Jupiter- and Neptune-size planets down to super-Earths in a wide variety of environments, and will make the first large-scale survey of the chemistry of exoplanet atmospheres. While some of the planets may be in the habitable zones of their stars, the main focus of the mission will be on warm and hot planets in orbits close to their star as they represent a natural laboratory in which to study the chemistry and formation of planets.
ESA, UCL, STFC UK ATC, Cardiff University, University of Oxford and over 60 institutes from 15 ESA member state countries with an additional contribution from NASA currently under study.
Further Project Information