CoRoT (Convection, Rotation and planetary Transits) was the first space mission dedicated to exoplanetary research and designed for this purpose. The spacecraft was equipped with a 27 cm-diameter afocal telescope and a 4-CCD wide-field camera, built around the PROTEUS spacecraft bus, and operated in a low-Earth orbit (LEO) of ~900 km (polar). Launched in December 2006, the mission had a nominal lifetime of 2.5 years, which was subsequently extended until 31 March 2013. The project was led by CNES, with contributions from ESA, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Spain and Brazil.
The mission had two science objectives:
- to detect and study stellar oscillations (stellar seismoilogy)
- to search for extrasolar planets, specifically telluric-like planets
A full description of the missio, including its history, the legacy data, major scientific achievements, and its influence on subsequent space missions, can be found in the CoRoT Legacy Handbook at the following link.