The study of the moons of the giant planets of the Solar System, of the temperate alien worlds or the Milky Way and, even further away in space and time, of the early universe.
It is within these research areas that the three future space exploration missions of 'Voyage 2050', the new scientific program of the European Space Agency (ESA) for the period between 2035 and 2050 will be chosen. the same Esa.
The questions to which future ESA missions will help to find answers are ambitious. Investigate the potential habitability of the worlds of the Solar System, to understand how life can emerge, and if there are Earth-like planets in the cosmos, starting with the Milky Way. And try to understand, for example by using gravitational waves as messengers, how the universe began and how the first cosmic structures and black holes were formed and evolved. It now remains to be defined which specific missions will be selected.
For Fabio Favata, coordinator of the ESA scientific program, “having a clear long-term plan allows ESA to be a stable reference for partner agencies with which to carry out collaborative missions. Furthermore - explains the scholar to Media Inaf, the online newsletter of the National Institute of Astrophysics - Voyage 2050 provides a framework for the scientific community to plan their long-term investments. Voyage 2050 - concludes Favata - will keep Europe at the forefront of space science for decades to come ”.