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Countdown to launch

The current schedule for the mission, as of March 2018, is as follows:

PLATO schedule as of March 2018

Current Status

PLATO was formally adopted by ESA in June 2017.

The PLATO Mission Consortium (PMC) is currently completing the IPDR process (including closure of the remaining open Action Items from the review) and preparaing for the Unit PDRs. These are the last activities of phase B2. Later this year (2019), the mission will enter phase C for the payload development.

Current efforts of the PSM Office are focused on

  • Evaluation of scientific test cases for evaluating the performance of the onboard data processing
  • Definition of the first PMC internal review for the PSM and the PLATO Data Centre (PDC), which will take place in late-2019
  • Development of the document tree
  • Configuration management
  • Defining requirements for the ground-based data processing that will lead to PLATO's planetary discoveries

Phase B2

Phase B2 has seen the build-up to the unit PDR. This was a major undertaking by the whole consortium, but was completely successfully ahead of the review, which kicked off in October 2018. The outcomes of the review have been mostly positive, and though there were several hundred pieces of feedback, many of which led to Action Items, the overall outlook is very good.

Phase B1

In phase B1, both the PDCR and PSRR were passed, with some very useful feedback received from ESA and the external reviewers regarding various aspects of the PMC setup and progress to that point.

Owing to various concerns, ESA slightly reduced the scope of the baseline mission from it's original incarnation. PLATO will have 24 telescopes (with 2 additional 'fast' telescopes), and will have a baseline mission duration of 4 years (though a mission extension is still available). No significant impact on science is anticipated.