UK TO LEAD ARIEL MISSION
ESA has given the green light to a new exoplanet-characterising space observatory, ARIEL (Atmospheric Remote-sensing Infrared Exoplanet Largesurvey). The mission will study over 1,000 known exoplanets, teasing out details about the composition of their atmospheres. The planning and leadership of ARIEL will be based in the UK, but the spacecraft is going to be built by over 60 institutions in 15 different European nations. The launch is scheduled for 2028.