Proposed for launch in 2016 as part of NASA's Explorers Program, FINESSE would take the first "family portrait" of extrasolar planets, or exoplanets. FINESSE is the first mission dedicated to finding out what exoplanet atmospheres are made of, what conditions or processes are responsible for their composition, and how our own solar system fits into the larger family of planets.
The last 15 years have witnessed extraordinary success in finding exoplanets; ground-based surveys and robotic space missions have collectively indentified hundreds of planets outside of our solar system. The number of candidate planets detected is now in the thousands.
FINESSE is designed to take the next step - probing the atmospheres of these far off worlds.