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STEP - STars and ExoPlanets is a suggestion for a Danish astronomical satellite mission aimed at strenghtening the collaboration between researchers and Danish industry.

The satellite is to be equipped with a 20 cm telescope and a highly sensitive spectrograph covering the electromagnetic spectrum from near ultraviolet to visible red light. The mission is to act as a follow-up to the large space missions from ESA and NASA, like Kepler, TESS, Plato and ARIEL. The scientific results will be to answer central questions related to exoplanets and stars.

New developments by Danish universities and companies are expected within communications between space and Earth, and data handling. The scientific results, especially in the area of exoplanets are expected to further the understanding of the possibilities of extraterrestrial life, and thus improve public interests and understanding in these disciplines and in science in general.

STEP has been included in the Danish Roadmap for Research Infrastructure of February 2020 (pg 45), issued by the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science. In January 2022 the ministry announced support of DKK 31.2 million for STEP. The estimated total cost for the project is DKK 85 million.

STEP is a collaboration between the Technical University of Denmark - DTU, DMF - the national Meteorological Institute, Copenhagen University - KU, the university of Southern Denmark - SDU, Aalborg University - AAU and Aarhus University - AU.