Europlanet Launches 10 Million Euro Research Infrastructure Supporting Planetary Science

The Planetary Spectroscopy Laboratory (PSL) at the DLR Institute of Planetary Research – a laboratory for the spectroscopic investigation of planetary simulants (terrestrial rocks ground into rock dust, such as those found on the Earth-like planets of the Solar System) – offers globally unique research opportunities. Here, the reflection properties and emissions of samples can be measured under extremely high temperatures of up to 500 degrees Celsius, as is the case on Venus and Mercury. Europlanet, a European platform for planetary research, is now providing 10 million euro for the ‘Europlanet 2024 Research Infrastructure’ project, which will provide open access to facilities for planetary simulation and analysis for scientists from Europe, Asia and Africa, including two DLR laboratories. The image shows PSL Manager Jörn Helbert with a sample chamber. (Credit: Europlanet / madebygravity.co)
  • Europlanet 2024 RI will provide open access to the world’s largest group of facilities for planetary simulation and analysis, as well as a global network of small telescopes, data services and support for the scientific community.
  • Since 2005, Europlanet has been providing Europe’s planetary science community with a platform to exchange ideas and personnel, share research tools, data and facilities, define key science goals for the future, and engage stakeholders, policy makers and European citizens with planetary science.
  • DLR participates in the programme with a spectroscopy laboratory and a laboratory for simulating atmospheric conditions on various planetary bodies.

BERLIN (DLR PR) — Solar System exploration benefits primarily from the ability of robotic spacecraft to visit planetary bodies, carrying cameras and experiments. In addition, much research is carried out in laboratories on Earth, and during field studies on volcanoes or in arid and cold polar regions.

The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) Institute of Planetary Research in Berlin has two laboratories for planetary research with globally unique capabilities. These are a spectroscopy laboratory for emissivity measurements of planetary simulants under extremely high temperatures, and a laboratory for simulating atmospheric conditions on a wide range of planetary bodies. Now, Europlanet, a European platform for planetary science, has launched ‘Europlanet 2024 RI‘, a 10 million euro project.

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NASA to Announce New Planetary Mission Today


UPDATE:
The Washington Post is reporting that the InSIGHT lander (pictured above) will be sent in 2016. InSIGHT contains a drill that will sample the Martian interior. The cost will be $425 million. Learn more here.

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA will host a media teleconference at 5 p.m. EDT today to discuss the selection of a new Discovery-class mission that will further NASA’s exploration of the solar system. The selection will be the 12th in NASA’s series of Discovery-class missions.

The panelists for the briefing are:

  • John Grunsfeld, astronaut and associate administrator, NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington
  • James Green, director, NASA’s Planetary Science Division, Washington

Created in 1992, the Discovery Program sponsors frequent, cost-capped solar system exploration missions with highly focused scientific goals. In May 2011, NASA selected three mission concepts from 28 proposals for funding to conduct preliminary design studies and analyses.

Recent Discovery missions include MESSENGER, Dawn, Stardust, Deep Impact and Genesis. NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., manages the program for the agency’s Science Mission Directorate.

The teleconference will be streamed live online at: http://www.nasa.gov/newsaudio

For more information about the Discovery Program, visit: http://discovery.nasa.gov