The Balloon Observation Platform for Planetary Science mission is the first stratospheric balloon observatory to obtain images of a comet, enabling new studies of astronomical objects.
A large stress-polishing machine and a large cryo-vacuum chamber have recently been built at the Laboratory of Astrophysics of Marseille to support major projects.
Novel combinations of polishing techniques on fused silica substrates produce super-polished mirrors with effective surface roughness of 0.25nm.
In-flight radiometric calibration procedures will be used to track changes in instrument throughput during the mission and to verify pre-flight laboratory tests.
A mission proposed to the European Space Agency would measure the molecular content and temperature of exoplanet atmospheres to provide the first comprehensive picture of their chemistry.