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European Space Agency Picks Plato Planet-hunting Mission

timothy posted about 5 months ago | from the in-space-they-don't-mind-if-you-look dept.

Space 32

kc123 writes "A telescope to find worlds around other stars has been selected for launch by the European Space Agency's Science Policy Committee. Known as Plato (Planetary Transits and Oscillations of stars), the mission should launch on a Soyuz rocket in 2024. The Plato space telescope will prepare the way for scientists searching for alien life by locating the first genuinely Earth-like exoplanets orbiting nearby stars. It will break new ground in astronomy by using a "bug eye" array of 34 individual telescopes. The intention is for this array to sweep about half the sky, to investigate some of its brightest and nearest stars."

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bonus (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46298107)

Using play-doh should really help the budget out nicely.

'weather' mismatches i rock i ran.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46298131)

no http://youtu.be/ZaeEopDW0V4 everywhere http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2cdP14Idyw

between a rock & outer space (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46298223)

who's to tell http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=weather+manipulation ...invites outer space into our already flimsy atmosphere

ESA page (3, Interesting)

Sven-Erik (177541) | about 5 months ago | (#46298155)

Here [esa.int] is the ESA Plato page.

Re:ESA page (1)

Ironlenny (1181971) | about 5 months ago | (#46300175)

I thought the title read "European Space Agency Picks Pluto Planet-hunting Mission". My first thought was "They already found it!"

Pluto would be more relevant name! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46298215)

Ya know, 'cause Pluto was then wasn't a planet. So if they are trying to determine if something is or is not a planet, make sure you don't Pluto it

Next they'll pick a peck of peppers (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46298231)

Hooray for alliteration!

Plato planet-hunter and star probe (1)

DeTech (2589785) | about 5 months ago | (#46298257)

The telescope array was all but a shoe in... But I like where we are heading, more eyes watching the sky is a good thing.

Re:Plato planet-hunter and star probe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46298519)

The aliens are now upset that it isn't just the USA violating their privacy.

I don't get it (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 5 months ago | (#46298461)

So we can look at planets and count them and what out with a huge degree of error what is in their atmosphere. Wouldn't the money be better spent on warping spacetime research, fusion, ion thrusters, human stasis, anti-radiation shielding, and artificial gravity?

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46298521)

Most of the items on your wish list are not realistically possible.

Re:I don't get it (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about 6 months ago | (#46301285)

more to the point, exactly one is possible (ion thrusters are already used) and a viable fusion reactor may or may not be possible

the rest may as well be wish for pink unicorn that can piss five flavors of fruit juice and shits jelly beans

Re:I don't get it (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 6 months ago | (#46311511)

I can't believe this was replied to by complete idiots. Space and time is bent around a black hole, we already know how and why it happens, and can measure it. So that's not scifi. Human stasis is as simple as can be and we're more than halfway there. Anti-radiation shielding exists in nuclear power plants and hospitals already. Actively powered ones have been made in labs already. Also there's one around the Earth that works just fine. Artificial gravity is theoretically possible, as proven recently by the proof of the Higgs Boson.

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46313339)

Human stasis is as simple as can be

Look at this. Look at the stupid thing you just said.

Re:I don't get it (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46298533)

It's pretty clear you don't get it. Why not spend money on flying carpets, astral projection, witch's brooms, and levitation? Just because the words you use are in "science" fiction movies doesn't make them real. They're just fantasies and wishes under another name.

Re:I don't get it (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 5 months ago | (#46299187)

Pull this [youtube.com] off (artificial wormhole/portal), and we won't need the rest of that stuff.

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46301577)

Fantasies and wishes under another name. Never gonna happen. Ever.

Re:I don't get it (1)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | about 6 months ago | (#46302655)

NASA has a department of Warp Field Mechanics already.

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46304075)

If by department, you mean several people and experiments that have part time overlap with warp drive concepts, but also spend a lot of time working on other theory and experimental work.

Re:I don't get it (1)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | about 6 months ago | (#46315709)

It's about the level of commitment appropriate for a very high stakes, difficult to prove idea that's a long shot.

Pato's Cave (2)

Da Cheez (1069822) | about 5 months ago | (#46298677)

With a name like Plato, I worry it won't see much other than shadows when searching for stars....

Sick of these forced Acronyms (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46298779)

I get it.
Plato was a dude that did stuff a few years back and you want to honor him by using his name for your shiney new space toy.
Really, all you're doing is weakening the name of your thing by naming it after another unrelated thing. I can't talk about "Plato" the telescope and not have people confuse it with Plato the philosopher.

PTOS is a perfectly fine acronym.

Re:Sick of these forced Acronyms (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46299659)

PTOS is a perfectly fine acronym.

How about POS or POTUS is a POS?

Re:Sick of these forced Acronyms (1)

careysub (976506) | about 5 months ago | (#46300237)

... I can't talk about "Plato" the telescope and not have people confuse it with Plato the philosopher.

Easily fixed. Just have everyone start calling him by what the Classical Greeks actually called the philosopher, which was "Platon" (not "Plato"). Either that or start calling him by his birth-name Aristocles.

So long? (2)

bulletman (254401) | about 5 months ago | (#46299393)

I'm very glad the project is going forward. But, 10 years?! I have to think the turnaround time could be improved with a little effort, imagination, and courage.

Re:So long? (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about 5 months ago | (#46299695)

I'm very glad the project is going forward. But, 10 years?! I have to think the turnaround time could be improved with a little effort, imagination, and courage.

You must be a project manager who doesn't work on government projects. Come on, this is the EU we are talking about. It's going to take them at least half that time to be on holiday.

Meanwhile in USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46302935)

Nothing...

modh 0p (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46299859)

PPoper. Nothing [goat.cx]

why Soyuz? (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 6 months ago | (#46300897)

that is now expensive and has had issues.
It seems like the smart one might be to wait a bit longer and see what else is cheaper, bigger, better.

Re:why Soyuz? (2)

hackertourist (2202674) | about 6 months ago | (#46302375)

It's an ESA project, for political reasons this will use an ESA launcher. They added a Soyuz launchpad to the Kourou spaceport a few years ago to expand their launcher portfolio on the low end.

Good. There's no such thing as too many planet ... (1)

Ihlosi (895663) | about 6 months ago | (#46303097)

... hunting missions. Can't wait for the next couple of thousand exoplanet discoveries!

Plato, hunting planets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46345335)

He sits, waiting until they pass near and lures them into political discussion where they eventually drop dead from exhaustion.

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