PLAnetary Transits and Oscillations of stars (PLATO) is the third medium-class mission in ESA's Cosmic Vision programme. Its objective is to find and study a large number of extrasolar planetary systems, with emphasis on the properties of terrestrial planets in the habitable zone around solar-like stars. PLATO has also been designed to investigate seismic activity in stars, enabling the precise characterisation of the planet host star, including its age.
|Theme||What are the conditions for planet formation and the emergence of life?|
|Primary Goal||Detection and characterisation of terrestrial exoplanets around bright solar-type stars, with emphasis on planets orbiting in the habitable zone.|
|Telescope||A number of small, optically fast, wide-field telescopes|
|Orbit||Large amplitude libration orbit around Sun-Earth Lagrangian point, L2|
|Lifetime||4 years of nominal science operations; satellite built and verified for an in-orbit lifetime of 6.5 years|