Bringing Cheops to life

Design & Data GmbH worked with the Cheops consortium to generate awareness of Cheops, the Characterising Exoplanet Satellite, by use of an explainer cartoon animation to communicate the key objectives of the mission.

Following the success of anthropomorphic storytelling for both the Rosetta and Philae ‘Once Upon a Time…’ cartoon series and ‘The Epic Adventures of BepiColombo’, we are proud to bring yet another spacecraft to life in an explainer cartoon animation for the Cheops mission. The animation communicates the science behind the Exoplanet mission in a fun an exciting way. We learn how Cheops will investigate distant planets orbiting stars other than the Sun to discover what these alien worlds are made of.

In order to illustrate the character, we focused around the satellite’s core features. Its payload is based around a single medium-size telescope, providing Cheops with its “eye” to the sky. Its ‘back’ comprises a sun shield to prevent direct sunlight on the payload for most orientations. We also provided additional character features to the cartoon through the addition of arms and a notepad in order to demonstrate how Cheops takes notes as it characterises exoplanets.

The Cheops cartoon was commissioned by a consortium comprised of Space Research Institutions from 11 European countries including Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Spain, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Portuguese, Sweden and the UK. As such, the original English version was translated into multiple languages including Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Hungarian and Swedish, together with Catalan subtitles. This consortium setup demonstrated that good science communication is possible alongside good science, by sharing the costs on several shoulders.

Talk to us, if your science communication could also benefit from anthropomorphic storytelling to reach the hearts and minds of your target group.

For more information on the mission visit: and follow updates on the mission on social media under #Cheops and on Twitter @ESA_CHEOPS.

  • Animations