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COnvection, ROtation and planetary Transits


Designation 29678 / 06063A
Launch date 27 Dec 2006
Country of origin France
Mission Scientific: astronomy (Asteroseismology)
Perigee/Apogee 872/884 km
Inclination 90°
Period 103 min
Launch vehicle Soyuz 2 #4
Launch site Tyuratam

Program cost: EUR 15 million. Owned by CNES.

High-precision stellar photometry mission aimed at study the internal structure and dynamics of stars by observing their natural oscillation modes (asteroseismology) and search for extrasolar planets (exoplanets). The sensitivity achieved by Corot is said to be 10 times better than expected!

COROT can be seen as a precursor for two ESA missions, Eddington and Darwin.
Eddington is a larger telescope in a more distant orbit, capable of detecting worlds down to half the size of Earth, and it will search for planets around more than 500,000 stars. Eddington, unlike COROT, will also be able to detect habitable planets. In addition it will return precise asteroseismology for 50,000 stars.
ESA then plans to continue its search for Earth-like worlds into the second decade of the century with the launch of Darwin. This flotilla of eight spacecraft will take pictures of Earth-like worlds, allowing scientists to search for signs of life.

Brasil will provide ground facilities for data reception in Brasil and elsewhere.

In Oct 2009, it was decided to fund and extend the mission for an additional 3 years.

End of life

Out of service late 2012
Cause Instrument stopped producing data

External resources


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Technical data


Prime contractor CNES
Platform Proteus (Alcatel Space)
Mass at launch 638 kg
Mass in orbit  
Dimension 4.1 m length x 1.984 m diameter
Solar array  
DC power 380 W
Design lifetime 3 years

CoRoT's payload consists primarily of a telescope (2 mirrors off axis, 27 cm aperture) and two cameras, one for each of the two mission objectives. Thetelescope, developed under the responsibility of Laboratory of Astrophysics (LAM) in Marseille, France, contains two parabolic mirrors, each with a 1.1 meter focal length. The field of view is two degrees², half for the seismology mission and half for the exoplanet mission. The telescope also includes an external "baffle", designed by ESA's ESTEC facilities in the Netherlands, to shield the lens from light pollution. The two cameras were developed under the leadership of the Space Studies and Astrophysics Instrumentation Laboratory (LESIA) in Paris, France, and manufactured by ESA's ESTEC. The satellite itself is based on the PROTEUS multi-mission platform, developed in partnership between CNES and Alcatel Alenia Space.

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