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ESA’s latest astrophysics mission, Euclid, lifted off on a Space X Falcon 9 from Cape Canaveral in Florida, USA, at 17:12 CEST on 1 July 2023.

Euclid has now started its month-long journey to Sun-Earth Lagrange point L2, located 1.5 million kilometres from Earth, in the opposite direction from the Sun.

The telescope will survey one third of the sky with unprecedented accuracy and sensitivity. By observing billions of galaxies out to 10 billion light-years, it will create the most extensive 3D-map of the Universe, with the third dimension representing time.

ESA’s Euclid mission is designed to explore the composition and evolution of the dark Universe. Euclid will chart how the Universe has expanded and how large-scale structure is distributed across space and time, revealing more about the role of gravity and the nature of dark energy and dark matter. 

Four weeks after launch, Euclid will enter its orbit around L2. Once in orbit, mission controllers will start the activities to verify all functions of the spacecraft, check out the telescope and finally turn the instruments on.

Following this, scientists and engineers will be engaged in an intense two-month phase of testing and calibrating Euclid’s scientific instruments, and preparing for routine observations. The telescope begins its early phase of the survey of the Universe three months after launch. 

Watch the replay of the Euclid launch broadcast

Find out more about Euclid in ESA’s launch kit

Access the related broadcast quality video material here (mission footage) and here (mission animations).