Lunch Session LS2  4 July 2024

The ESA Science programme

Aims and scope

This session aim to inform early career researchers in the European astrophysics community about ESA and specifically the space science programme of the ESA Science Directorate.

ESA and in particular the Science Directorate operate a range of cutting-edge missions on the forefront of today's astronomy and astrophysics, from cosmology with recently launchen Euclid telescope, X-ray astronomy with XMM-Newton and exoplanet science with Cheops to revolutionizing our understanding of our own Galaxy with Gaia and exploring the most distance Universe with JWST. ESA's science programme is defined bottom up by the scientific community of the ESA member states, but its long time-scales and wide reach (and many, many acronyms!) often seem intimidating to early career researchers. In particular, during the interaction with early careers researchers, for example at the ESA exhibition booth, but also in individual session, it became clear that there is high interest in a more systematic introduction and in the possibility to discuss and ask questions that go beyond individual one-to-one conversations. After a first lunch session in 2023, this is the second in the series.


Our session will consists of three introduction talks, followed by ample time for discussion and a Q&A panel session. The topics that will be covered will include:

- an introduction ESA's programme, discussing the process of long-term planning, crucial for space-based mission with their long development timelines. Here, Voyage 2050 will be of special interest as it identifies the missions themes that will be prominent in the next decades and thus through the future scientific careers of today's early career scientists.

- an overview over the processes that leads from the initial mission proposal to the final working spacecraft, including how researches can directly contribute to it.

The talks will be followed by a panel discussion, including the speakers and further ESA staff ranging from ESA fellows to senior management. To enable a successful discussion and to allow a wide range of questions, we will make sure to collect collect possible questions throughout the conference, e.g. at the ESA booth.

Please check back later for speakers and exact talk titles!

Invited speakers

Scientific organisers

Victoria Grinberg (ESA), Gaitee Hussain (ESA)


victoria.grinberg @

Updated on Thu Dec 21 10:57:58 CET 2023