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Poster - Europe in the Solar System
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- Title Poster - Europe in the Solar System
- Released 03/01/2008 10:26 am
- Copyright ESA
Scientists believe that our Solar System formed about 4.5 billion years ago and, since then, its planets and moons have all evolved in very different ways. Venus Express is one of a series of highly successful ESA missions to understand such spectacular variety and how the solar system works.
Mars Express is searching the red planet for water, the main element for the origins of life; in 2005 the ESA probe Huygens landed on Saturn’s moon, Titan, one of the most Earth-like bodies in the Solar System and Smart-1 flew to the Moon in 2003 to investigate its hidden craters. Rosetta will rendezvous with comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko in 2014 after a 10-year interplanetary journey to put a lander onto its surface. A detailed study of its nucleus and environment will help scientists to understand if comets, the oldest objects in the solar system, brought water and life to Earth.
With the launch of BepiColombo, Europe will explore Mercury, the nearest planet to the Sun, to see how planets close to stars form and evolve. ESA spacecrafts will then have explored all terrestrial planets.