CHEOPS Space Telescope celebrates 1,000 days in orbit

(ORDO NEWS) — After 1,000 days in orbit, the CHEOPS space telescope shows almost no signs of wear. CHEOPS is a joint mission of the European Space Agency (ESA), the University of Bern (UNIBE) and the University of Geneva (UNIGE).

CHEOPS was launched from the spaceport in French Guiana on December 18, 2019. During his career, he demonstrated impressive accuracy and functionality, and became a key tool for astronomers in Europe and around the world.

“The precise data we collected with CHEOPS has paid off: more than fifty scientific papers have been published by more than a hundred scientists who are part of the CHEOPS science team and working in dozens of institutions across Europe,” said Willy Benz, Emeritus Professor of Astrophysics at University of Toronto.

The international scientific team achieved this despite the fact that due to the pandemic, scientists were not able to physically gather to work with the device. Now, for the first time since the launch of CHEOPS, all involved experts can finally meet in Padua, Italy from September 12th to 14th.

“Even after 1,000 days in orbit, CHEOPS still performs great and shows only very little signs of wear,” says CHEOPS instrument specialist Andrea Fortier from the University of Bern.

“He will continue his mission until at least September 2023. The CHEOPS team is working with the European Space Agency and the Swiss Space Authority to extend the mission until the end of 2025 and possibly beyond.”

CHEOPS will be useful to the scientific community even now that the James Webb Space Telescope is in operation.

“We are convinced that, due to its high accuracy and flexibility, CHEOPS can serve as a link between other instruments and Webb, as a powerful telescope needs accurate information about potentially interesting objects of observation. CHEOPS can provide this information – and thus optimize the work of “Webb”, – says Willy Benz.

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