Ceres program’s first mission is now under development. Ceres I will be a crewed mission to Kepler-186f test EVA¹ mobility and range, new science instruments and technology that will lay the foundation for the next interstellar missions.
Ceres I and beyond will use the interstellar gateway just beyond Saturn’s orbit to travel quickly and safely to the exoplanets³ that have been selected to test for habitability.
Advanced Mobility and Communications
Ceres I will be the first mission to fly with the new EVA suit for exoplanet survey. The new suit that will be worn on Ceres missions is called the Planetary Surface Exploration Mobility Unit, or PSEMU² for short. Scientists at the Ceres program are now in the researching phase [Phase A] for the systems and design of the PSEMU.
The crew will also use the new FTL⁴ Communication systems developed for interstellar communication.
Click here to read more about the phases of development.
Environments do not need to contain life to be considered habitable.
In determining the habitability potential of a planet or moon, Ceres program focuses on its bulk composition, orbital properties, atmosphere, potential chemical interactions, and stellar characteristics.
Rocky, wet terrestrial-type planets and moons with the potential for Earth-like chemistry are a primary focus of research. More information on this will be released once the Ceres I mission further in development.
¹EVA: Extra Vehicular Activity
²PSEMU: Planetary Surface Exploration Mobility Unit
³Exoplanet: An exoplanet is a planet outside the Solar System
⁴FTL: Faster Than Light