The European Space Agency Fleet In Our Solar System
Full Name: Solar and Heliospheric Observatory
Launched: December 2, 1995
Mission Duration: 21 years as of November 2017
Mission: Joint mission between NASA and ESA to study the internal structure of the Sun, its outer atmosphere, and solar wind.
Notes: SOHO was only designed to operate for 3 years but continues to function to this day. It is responsible for the discovery of over 3000 comets and asteroids. SOHO provides us with near-real-time solar weather data.
Full Name: BepiColombo
Launch date: October 2018
Mission Duration: 1+ years
Mission: Investigate the planet Mercury, its magnetic field, magnetosphere, interior and surface.
Notes: BepiColombo is a collaboration between ESA and JAXA. It is a two-part spacecraft composed of an orbiter and lander. It is named after the Italian scientist Giuseppe "Bepi" Colombo.
Full Name: Solar Orbiter (SoIO)
Launch date: February 2019
Mission Duration: 7 years
Mission: Perform detailed measurements of the inner heliosphere and nascent solar wind as well as perform close observations of the Sun's poles.
Full Name: Cluster
Launched: June 4, 1996
Mission Duration: 37 seconds
Mission: Research the Earth's magnetosphere
Notes: Cluster was destroyed when the Ariane 5 rocket it was stored in veered off course and disintegrate. Cluster II was launched in 2000 and has been in operation for over 17 years.
Full Name: Rosetta
Launched: March 2, 2004
Mission Duration: 12 years, 6 months, 28 days.
Mission: Study comet 67P and deploy Philae lander to carry out experiments on the surface of the comet.
Notes: The Philae lander bounced off the surface of the comet and landed in the shadow of a cliff causing it to lose power after 2 days. Rosetta's Philae communicator was switched off to save power. On September 30th, 2016 Rosetta crashed into the surface of comet 67P ending its mission.
Full Name: Mars Express
Launched: June 2, 2003
Mission Duration: 14 years, 5 months, 6 days.
Mission: Study the surface of Mars and deploy the Beagle 2 lander to perform exobiology and geochemistry.
Notes: Beagle 2 crashed into the surface of Mars. Mars Express is the second longest running active spacecraft in history, NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey is #1.
Full Name: PROBA2
Launched: November 2, 2009
Mission Duration: 2 years
Mission: Test new spacecraft technology.
Full Name: Venus Express (VEX)
Launched: November 9, 2005.
Mission Duration: 9 years, 2 months, 9 days.
Mission: Long-term investigation of the Venusian atmosphere.
Launch date: 2022
Mission Duration: 11 years planned.
Mission: Study Ganymede, Callisto, and Europa.
Full Name: Cassini-Huygens
Launched: October 15, 1997
Mission Duration: 19 Years, 335 days.
Mission: Study the planet Saturn, it's moons, and
Notes: Cassini ended its mission with a grand finale. It flew through Saturn's rings and crashed into the planet itself.