Spain will launch its first European space mission in 2030

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For the first time, Spain will lead a mission of the European Space Agency (THIS). Specifically, it will be Arrakihs Mission, destined to scrutinize the elusive dark matter, up to five times more abundant than ordinary matter. Specifically, the mission is coordinated from the Physics Institute of Cantabria (IFCA), a joint center of the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) and the University of Cantabria (UC).

Spain will lead the Arrakihs mission in 2030

The Arrakihs mission (acronym for ‘Analysis of Resolved Remnants of Accreted galaxies as a Key Instrument for Halo Surveys’) was submitted to the F-Missions program (Fast Missions Opportunities) of the European Space Agency (ESA) in February of this year, and an international consortium participates in its development, with research centers from Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Sweden, Austria and the United States, responding to the opportunity announcement published by the European Space Agency (ESA) in December 2021.

Subsequently, in July, it received the support of the Ministry of Science and Innovation through its qualification in the ESA PRODEX program, managed by the Center for Technological and Industrial Development (CDTI). It has now been approved by ESA and will be led by Rafael Guzman, CSIC researcher, member of the IFCA Observational Cosmology and Instrumentation Group and professor at the University of Florida, the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM), the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (IAA-CSIC), the Institute of Space Sciences ( ICE-CSIC), the Center for Astrobiology (CAB, INTA-CSIC) and the Center for Physics of the Cosmos of Aragon (CEFCA), in collaboration with the company Satlantis.

The depth, resolution and wide field of images that the mission will provide Arrakihswill be an astronomical milestone and will provide key information on the knowledge of dark matter in the universe.

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