XMM-Newton-NEWS  #220,    04-Apr-2019

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  • Voyage 2050: Long-term plannning of the ESA Science programme opportunities to participate
    • Call for Membership of Topical Teams
    • Call for White Papers


The Science Programme of the European Space Agency (ESA) relies on long-term planning of its scientific priorities. The first long-term plan, Horizon 2000, was the result of an exercise started in 1983. The resulting programme included XMM-Newton as one of the cornerstone missions. A subsequent planning exercise, Cosmic Vision, was started in 2004 and is the current basis against which the content of the Science Programme is set. In the Cosmic Vision plan, Athena addresses the theme of the Hot and Energetic Universe.

The next planning cycle of the ESA Science Programme, Voyage 2050, is now underway. This will cover the period 2035 to 2050. In keeping with the bottom-up, peer-reviewed nature of the Science Programme, the definition of Voyage 2050 relies on open community input and on broad peer review. The community input will be gathered through a Call for White Papers, while the peer review of this input will take place through a two-tiered committee structure, with a Senior Committee of 13 European scientists supported by a number of Topical Teams.

Call for Membership of Topical Teams

Scientists working in ESA Member States and with an interest in any topic in space science and in the relevant technologies are welcome to apply for membership of the Topical Teams. Space science is defined here in a broad sense, including the observation of the Universe, planetary science, solar science, study of the space environment, and scientific experiments that can be carried out from a spacecraft.

The Topical Teams will be appointed by the Director of Science after the evaluation and recommendations of the Senior Committee. It is intended to have a mix of experience represented in each Topical Team and early career scientists are specifically encouraged to apply.

Deadline for applications for Membership of Topical Teams: 6 May 2019, 12:00 (noon) CEST

Call for White Papers

By means of the Call for White Papers, ESA is soliciting ideas from the scientific community for the science themes that should be covered during the Voyage 2050 planning cycle.

In this context, White Papers are not proposals for specific missions; they should rather argue why a specific scientific theme should have priority in the Voyage 2050 planning cycle. At the same time, and to ensure realism in the resulting programme, proposers should briefly illustrate possible mission profiles.

Any scientist or science team can submit a White Paper, with no limitation in terms of residence or nationality. All White Papers must be submitted in English. White Paper lead scientists cannot be members of the Topical Teams.

Deadline for submission of White Papers: 5 August 2019, 12:00 (noon) CEST

Further details about Voyage 2050 and the Calls can be found at



Yours sincerely,

XMM-Newton SOC