Ceres I mission patch
|Complete survey landing (A)
|To be determined
|Kepler-186f, Kepler-186 System
|Tomek Dersu Aaron Whitfield
Thijs Jonas Kurpershoek
|High resolution images
Ceres program’s first mission is now under development. Ceres I will be a crewed mission to Kepler-186f to test EVA mobility and range, new science instruments and technology that will lay the foundation for the next interstellar missions.
The Ceres I plan is to land a crew on the equator of Kepler-186f. It is planned to have two astronauts on the surface for about one week. The mission is intended to be the first exploration of an Earth-like planet outside of our solar system. The two astronauts will leave Earth on board VTALOS-1 and travel to the Kepler-186 System with the Interstellar Gateway. The two astronauts will remain on the surface for 6 days and conduct up to four spacewalks, performing a variety of scientific observations, including sampling rocks and water ice.
The search for Earth-like planets is a vital resource for the success of the Ceres program. A planet’s habitability depends on a complex network of interactions among the planet, other planets in its solar system, and the star they orbit. Our new home requires a breathable atmosphere, liquid water, energy, and nutrients. The region around a star where a planet receives the perfect amount of heat to maintain liquid water on their surface is called the stellar habitable zone.
Kepler-186f (1.11 ± 0.14 Earth-radius) is the outermost of five planets, all roughly Earth-sized, that transits a cool M-dwarf star (0.47 ± 0.05 solar-radius). The intensity and spectrum of the star’s radiation place Kepler-186f in the stellar habitable zone. The chemical analysis of the atmosphere implies that if Kepler-186f has an Earth-like atmosphere and water at its surface, some of this water is likely to be in liquid form. The surface mostly receives infrared light, so if there were life, it would have adapted to use that energy resulting in absorbing a different wavelength of light, which could change the common colors used by any plants or animals.
- Mass: 1.71M🜨.
- Radius: 1.1R🜨.
- Liquid water: Lakes, rivers, swamps.
- Temperature: average surface temperature of -17°C.
- Star: M-type 4.0 Gyr
- Atmosphere: somewhat denser than Earth’s and with a higher concentration of oxygen.
That will make life larger and more abundant.
The artwork for Ceres I showcases the orbital motion transmission spectrum of Kepler-186f. This is the technique used to find Kepler-186f. The light of the star filters through the planet’s atmosphere, while the planet is crossing the face of the star, which absorbs some of the starlight. The resulting gaps in the star’s spectrum are analyzed by astronomers to decipher which atoms and molecules are present in the planet’s atmosphere.
The mission patch features the orbit of Kepler-186f around its star, where the top view of the orbit forms the letter C and the side view of the orbit the numeral I. A simplified emission spectrum showing the detected atmosphere. On a disc of dark blue featuring an orange outer circle enclosing the names of the crewmembers KURPERSHOEK and WHITFIELD.
The Ceres I mission patch was designed by the crew.
Meet the astronauts who will venture deeper into space than we’ve ever been before, the first humans to visit planets outside of our solar system. These explorers will the survey potential habitable planet on behalf of humanity to enhance our understanding of humanity’s place in the universe and maintain a place for us in the future.
- Developing, Assembling and Testing the Spacesuit PSEMU-01
- Building and Testing the Orbital Spacecraft VTOLOS-1
Scientific objectives of the mission
- Assessing the planet’s geological composition.
- Searching for evidence of liquid water.
- Analyzing soil and rock samples for organic compounds.
- Measuring the planet’s atmosphere to determine its composition.