Plato, Cheops and Ariel
The Plato telescope will build on the data collected from the upcoming Cheops (Characterising Exoplanet Satellite) mission, which is due to launch in 2019. Cheops will be the first mission to use ultra-high-precision photometry to study solar systems that are already known to have planets. In particular, it will look for super-earths and Neptune-like worlds. Plato will be followed in 2028 by the Ariel (Atmospheric Remote-sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large-survey) mission, which will study the atmospheres of around 1,000 different exoplanet targets. Its goal will be to find out what these worlds are made of and how they evolved. All three missions will improve our current understanding of other worlds outside our own cosmic neighbourhood.