On 10 September 2016 about 2000 citizens from 22 European countries will participate in the first Citizens’ Debate on Space for Europe. In the course of the day, citizens will have the opportunity to learn, debate, have their say and participate by suggesting priorities on all aspects of current and future space programmes. This consultation on an unprecedented scale will take place simultaneously in all 22 Member States of the European Space Agency (ESA).
Approximately 100 citizens per Member State will be gathered at various locations. Those selected will be as representative as possible of the population of their country according to socio-demographic criteria. The results of the consultation will be collated – as early as 48 hours after the debate takes place – and communicated to ESA.
The Citizens’ Debate on Space for Europe is a major first – never before has the future of space activities been addressed in such an event held across so many countries.
Establishing if life ever existed on Mars is one of the outstanding scientific questions of our time. To address this important goal, the ESA has established the ExoMars programme to investigate the Martian environment and to demonstrate new technologies paving the way for a future Mars sample return mission in the 2020's.
Rosetta is making the most detailed study of a comet ever attempted. It is following Comet 67P on its journey through the inner Solar System, measuring the increase in activity as the icy surface is warmed up by the Sun. Philae, a small lander, was released onto the surface in November 2014.