Darwin in the Context of Cosmic Vision 2015-2025
Paper i proceeding, 2010
The present status of the Darwin mission will be briefly reviewed, with particular focus on various developments since 2007. Of special interest is the readiness level (TRL) of critical mission technologies. While Darwin has essentially been put in limbo in Europe, continued research by the TPF-I team in the USA has demonstrated the high level of maturity which has recently been achieved for the critical technologies. This should encourage us to prepare for the next Cosmic Visions call by ESA. This call is expected to be issued in 2010/2011, reasonably well-timed with the upcoming US Decadal Survey. We argue that the SIM Lite mission would be an important milestone on the road toward Darwin-TPF and that ESA should join NASA in this endeavor.