MPP Co-director, Zita Martins, nominated by ESA as Community Scientist of the Ariel Space Mission
Zita Martins represents the science community within her area of expertise and augments the expertise within the Ariel Science Team.
As a Community Scientist, Zita Martins will represent the scientific community in the field of astrobiology and Planetary Sciences and will advise ESA on the best way to use the data resulting from the future Ariel space mission. The selection of Zita Martins for the position of Community Scientist of the mission’s team of scientists reinforces Portugal’s position in the field of Space and demonstrates that the Portuguese scientists are among the best in the world.
Before this selection, Zita Martins was already in the Ariel Portuguese consortium composed by researchers from the Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences (IA), the University of Porto and the University of Lisbon. This space mission has also the participation of the Portuguese Industry represented by Active Space Technologies and ML Analytics.
The Ariel mission will study the atmospheres of around a thousand exoplanets. The mission, scheduled for launch in 2029, will study what exoplanets are made of, how they formed and how they evolve, by surveying a diverse sample of about 1000 extrasolar planets, simultaneously in visible and infrared wavelengths. It is the first mission dedicated to measuring the chemical composition and thermal structures of hundreds of transiting exoplanets, enabling planetary science far beyond the boundaries of the Solar System.