(8 votes from 8 institutions)
Euclid is a space-based optical/near-infrared survey mission of the European Space Agency (ESA) to investigate the nature of dark energy, dark matter and gravity by observing the geometry of the Universe and on the formation of structures over cosmological timescales. Euclid will use two probes of the signature of dark matter and energy: Weak gravitational Lensing, which requires the measurement of the shape and photometric redshifts of distant galaxies, and Galaxy Clustering, based on the measurement of the 3-dimensional distribution of galaxies through their spectroscopic redshifts. The mission is scheduled for launch in 2020 and is designed for 6 years of nominal survey operations. The Euclid Spacecraft is composed of a Service Module and a Payload Module. The Service Module comprises all the conventional spacecraft subsystems, the instruments warm electronics units, the sun shield and the solar arrays. In particular the Service Module provides the extremely challenging pointing accuracy required by the scientific objectives. The Payload Module consists of a 1.2 m three-mirror Korsch type telescope and of two instruments, the visible imager and the near-infrared spectro-photometer, both covering a large common field-of-view enabling to survey more than 35% of the entire sky. All sensor data are downlinked using K-band transmission and processed by a dedicated ground segment for science data processing. The Euclid data and catalogues will be made available to the public at the ESA Science Data Centre.