From ESA: “NASA joins ESA’s ‘dark Universe’ mission”

XMM Newton
XMM Newton
ESA Planck

24 January 2013

Markus Bauer
ESA Science and Robotic Exploration Communication Officer
Tel: +31 71 565 6799
Mob: +31 61 594 3 954

René Laureijs
ESA Euclid Project Scientist

Giuseppe Racca
ESA Euclid Project Manager

NASA has officially joined ESA’s Euclid mission, a space telescope designed to investigate the mysterious natures of dark matter and dark energy.


To be launched in 2020, Euclid’s 1.2 m-diameter telescope and two scientific instruments will map the shape, brightness and 3D distribution of two billion galaxies covering more than a third of the whole sky and looking back over three-quarters of the history of the Universe.

Scientists hope to solve key problems in our understanding of the evolution and fate of our expanding cosmos: the roles played by ‘dark matter’ and ‘dark energy’.

NASA recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with ESA outlining its contribution to the mission. The US agency will provide 20 detectors for the near-infrared instrument, which will operate alongside a visible-wavelength camera. The instruments, telescope and spacecraft will be built and operated in Europe.

NASA has also nominated 40 US scientists to become members of the Euclid Consortium, who will build the instruments and analyse the science data returned from the mission. The consortium already includes almost 1000 scientists from 13 European countries and the US.

‘NASA is very proud to contribute to ESA’s mission to understand perhaps the greatest science mystery of our time,’ said John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.”

See the full article here.

ESA Space Science Banner

The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

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