The mission of the Terrae Novae exploration programme is to lead Europe’s human journey into the Solar system using robots as precursors and scouts, and to return the benefits of exploration back to society.
Terrae Novae has the literal meaning of the ‘New Worlds’ that encompasses the three ESA exploration destinations: Low Earth Orbit (LEO), Moon and Mars. It evokes the spirit of new discoveries, new ambitions, new science, new inspiration, and new challenges. It symbolises the constant quest for technological, process and procurement innovations that result in new and better ways to deliver the programme. It also reflects the aspiration to actively reach out to new partners from beyond the space sector and enlarge the space ecosystem to the commercial sphere.
The top objectives are:
- to create new opportunities in Low Earth Orbit for a sustained European presence in the post-ISS era,
- to enable the first European to explore the Moon’s surface by 2030 as a step towards sustainable lunar exploration in the 2030’s,
- to prepare the horizon goal of Europe being part of the first human mission to Mars.