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The ESA space science and robotic exploration programme

A plenary talk from SPIE Astronomical Instrumentation 2010.
29 June 2010, SPIE Newsroom. DOI: 10.1117/2.3201006.10
An overview of the ESA space science and robotic exploration programme. The talk presents on key science results from missions currently in operation, including the astronomy missions Herschel, Planck, XMM-Newton, Integral, and HST, and the scientific promise of those in preparation, namely LISA Pathfinder, GAIA, JWST, BepiColombo, and the ExoMars missions. Finally, a discussion of the missions under study as part of the Cosmic Vision programme, and the roadmap for new opportunities over the coming decade.

Mark McCaughrean is Head of the Research & Scientific Support Department of the European Space Agency, based at ESTEC in The Netherlands. He obtained his PhD in 1988 from the University of Edinburgh, working on one of the first infrared camera systems for astronomy. He subsequently worked in the US, Germany, and UK helping develop
ground- and space-based optical/IR instrumentation and telescopes, and using them to study the formation of stars and their planetary systems. He is an Interdisciplinary Scientist on the Science Working Group for the NASA/
ESA/CSA JWST and a member of the ESO E-ELT Science Working Group.