May 28, 2023

The European Space Agency (ESA)’s Euclid satellite has taken another step on its journey to explore the dark universe.

On 15 April, Euclid set sail for a port near its launch location in Cape Canaveral, Florida, the ESA announced today.

The spacecraft is expected to reach the take-off site at the beginning of May. The launch is due to take place on a SpaceX Falcon 9 in July.

After lift-off, Eulic will travel 1.5 million km from Earth to the Lagrange point L2, an auspicious location for studying deep space. From L2, it will start investigating the dark universe.

ESA has grand ambitions for the mission. The agency wants to map the large-scale structure of the universe. It also aims to shed light on the power of dark matter and dark energy, which makes up an estimated 95% of the universe.

To delve into these mysteries, Euclid plans to create the largest, most accurate 3D map of the universe ever. The satellite will observe billions of galaxies up to 10 billion light-years away, covering more than a third of the sky.

The map will offer insights into how the universe has expanded, and how its structure has evolved over cosmic history. It will also reveal more about the role played by gravity, and the nature of dark energy and dark matter.