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diagram of CoRoT satellite.
Crédit : Paris Observatory / UFE

CoRoT is the third mission in the program "small missions of the CNES" selected in October 2000. The satellite was launched in December 2006 by a Soyouz rocket.

The communications with the satellite and its control will be performed by the "ground segment", located at CNES in Toulouse (France).

In 1993 the CNES (National Space Studies Center) started a program of small missions. This is a medium-sized project, not weighing much more than 600 kg, using the PROTEUS platform, and evolving on a low orbit. Its cost must not exceed 50 million Euros, for the contribution of the CNES.

CoRoT has been selected as the third mission of this program, after JASON 1, launched in December 2001, and CALYPSO, which was launched in April 2006.

The satellite is made up of only one instrument, the photometric telescope, set up on the PROTEUS platform. Its features are compatible with those of a "mini-satellite".

The main features of the CoRoT satellite
Mass between 570 and 630 kg
Payload mass around 270 kg
Length 4100 mm
Diameter 1984 mm
Electric power 380 W
Pointing accuracy 0.5 arcsec
Telemetry 900 Mbit/day
Mass memory capacity 2 Gbit
Pointing capacity 120 m/s
Mission duration 2.5 years minimum