Uchusen’s MAGES mission concept featured at top of ESA’s list of candidates bidding for the 2017 S-Class Mission launch. Around 70 EU companies, institutes and universities are bidding to define ESA’s next generation S-Class Mission to launch on the Vega launcher some time in 2017. The MAGES mission, short for Magnetospheric Earth Swarm, is to launch a nanosatellite swarm to study the evolution of the magnetosphere in geospace.
The theme and content of the mission have generally been left up to the participants, although we expect that the bids will be centred around the broad themes of Cosmic Vision 2025. A quick bullet point list of the call:
Funding available for ESA required work/activities: up to 50m Euros (ex-payload)
Payload: to be provided by ESA member state entities
Development time for entire mission: no more than 4yrs
Maturity: only components/subsystems allowed at TRL5 or more