Do you want to send your art into space on the new Cheops satellite? ESA and its mission partners are inviting children to submit drawings that will be miniaturised and engraved on two plaques that will be put on the satellite. 

Cheops – for CHaracterising ExOPlanets Satellite – is a space telescope that will observe nearby stars known to host planets, and is being built as a collaboration between ESA’s Science Programme and Switzerland. The planned launch date is at the end of 2017.

With the data from Cheops, astronomers will be able to characterise the sizes and masses of many extrasolar planets, to gain new insights into the formation of planetary systems.

Children between the ages of 8 and 14 from any ESA member state or cooperating state can be part of this otherworldly enterprise by creating a drawing inspired by the mission.


While it would be great to collect colourful drawings, the artworks can only be in black-and-white, created with a black pencil or felt-tip pen. This is necessary to ensure that the engraving process accurately captures the drawings as they are transferred to the metal plaques.

Up to 3000 drawings will be shrunk down by a factor of about 1000 and engraved on the metal plaques that will fly into space on Cheops. If more than 3000 entries are received, ESA and its partners will organise a lottery to select the drawings for engraving.

To take part in this competition, you will need to download and print out a standard template providedhere, make your drawing on it, and complete your contact details. Then send it via letter to either your local Cheops mission partner institution, if there is one in your home country, or to ESA directly.

Entries will be accepted until 31 October 2015, and the postmark will be considered proof of the date of posting.

This competition is an initiative of the University of Bern, Switzerland, the overall coordinator of the activity. Mission partner institutions in the countries that are part of the Cheops consortium (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK) are also open for entries, as is ESA directly, representing all of its member states.

Full rules, terms, and conditions can be found here.

The standard template for the drawings can be found here.

Contacts and mail addresses for the national competitions here.

Feedback questionnaire about the competition (optional) here.