ESA Mission Archive
ExoMars, short for Exobiology on Mars, is a joint mission of the European Space Agency and the Roscosmos State Corporation including two separate launches to deploy an orbiter and stationary lander to Mars followed by a lander and rover. The mission is primarily dedicated to the search for biosignatures on Mars to provide firm evidence of past or present life on Earth's neighbor in the solar system.
The LISA Pathfinder Mission demonstrates critical technologies for the upcoming eLISA mission that sets out to accomplish the first ever measurement of gravitational waves - ripples in the curvature of space-time. This measurement requires highly precise instruments to be able to detect passing gravitational waves, traveling at the speed of light and the Pathfinder mission will deliver valuable information for the development of one of the most ambitious science missions ever attempted.
ESA’s IXV, the Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle, is a testbed for flight-testing of technologies for spacecraft re-entry. The spacecraft uses a lifting-body design with no wings, a thermal protection system, and two flaps that are used to provide control during re-entry. IXV performed a sub-orbital test mission in February 2015 to gather data on the behavior of the various systems and components in the operational re-entry environment to pave the way for the development of new innovative spacecraft with return capability.
Gaia is a space observatory operated by the European Space Agency that sets out to create a 3D space catalog of 1 billion stars – determining star positions, distances and star motion at an unprecedented accuracy. Also, the spacecraft continues the search for extra-solar planetary systems, asteroids and distant quasars. In addition, Gaia takes a look at fundamental physics, testing Albert Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity.