Europlanet 2024 RI – Project Summary
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Europlanet 2024 RI – Project Summary

Abstract: The Europlanet 2024 Research Infrastructure (RI) provides the pan-EU infrastructure needed to address the major scientific and technological challenges facing modern planetary science and strengthen Europe’s position at the forefront of space exploration.

Europlanet 2024 RI builds on the foundations of a series of highly successful EU-funded projects that have created the leading Virtual Observatory for planetary data and the largest, most diverse collection in the world today of field and laboratory facilities capable of simulating and analysing planetary environments.

Europlanet 2024 RI provides Transnational Access (TA) to an enhanced set of world-leading field and laboratory facilities, Virtual Access (VA) to state-of-the-art data services and tools linked to the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC), and Networking Activities (NA) to widen the user base and draw in new partners from Under Represented States (URS), non-EU countries, industry and interdisciplinary fields, and to train the next generation of RI leaders and users.

With over 50 beneficiaries, from both industry and the academic sectors, providing access to over 40 TA facilities on 5 continents and 4 VA services linking over 100 data services and catalogues, Europlanet 2024 RI represents a step-change in ambition for planetary science worldwide.

Innovations include the establishment of a ground based observation network to support space based missions, the launch of an interactive mapping service to provide virtual exploration of planetary surfaces, and the development of machine learning tools for data mining to fully exploit and analyse planetary data sets. Europlanet 2024 RI is establishing global collaborations and an international userbase for the RI through inclusion of partners in Africa, Asia and South America. Ultimately, Europlanet 2024 RI will support the transition of this unique infrastructure to a sustainable future within the overarching structure of the Europlanet Association.

Grant agreement ID: 871149

Start date: 1 February 2020

End date: 31 July 2024

Funded under: H2020-EU.

Overall budget: € 10 921 583,75

EU contribution: € 10 000 000

Coordinated by: UNIVERSITY OF KENT, United Kingdom



  1. To consolidate Europe’s position at the forefront of international planetary science.
  2. To provide an exemplar of a widely-distributed research infrastructure. 
  3. To provide access to well characterised terrestrial field sites and a unique set of laboratory facilities capable of simulating the wide range of environments encountered on planetary bodies.
  4. To provide ground-breaking capabilities to determine isotopic and elemental compositions of planetary samples, including analyses at high spatial resolution, high precision and high sensitivity.
  5. To expand Europlanet’s unique planetary space weather service (SPIDER), to provide predictions and alerts for spacecraft operations and science data analysis.
  6. To extend Europlanet’s virtual observatory for planetary science (VESPA) to facilitate and exploit analysis of data from space missions, observation campaigns, modelling projects and laboratory experiments.
  7. To integrate tools and services from previous and current H2020 projects to establish an online planetary mapping portal (GMAP) to allow production of geological maps and virtual exploration of planetary surfaces.
  8. To exploit advances in Machine Learning (ML) for data mining in Europlanet 2024 RI VAs.
  9. To connect providers of a comprehensive range of planetary facilities with a diverse user base.
  10. To expand the capacity of the European Research Area (ERA) by widening participation from users in Under-Represented States (URS).
  11. To develop innovation strategies for planetary Data and instrumentation through academic-industry partnerships and exploit NewSpace opportunities through closer links with the commercial sector.
  12. To develop and consolidate networks and collaborations around the world, with a particular focus on China, Korea, Africa and South America.
  13. To foster the next generation of RI leaders and users through equitable access to facilities, training, early career support and education.
  14. To expand Europlanet’s mature outreach activities to raise the profile of European expertise in planetary science and recognition of the impact of Europlanet 2024 RI amongst European citizens and policy makers.
  15. To develop a pan-European network of ground-based telescopes to support planetary missions and coordinate rapid-response observational campaigns.

Back to Europlanet 2024 RI homepage.