Future Missions

Within the next few years, a few spacecraft are set to launch, each of which will play a role in the detection and understanding of exoplanets.

TESS Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite was launched in April 2018 and will survey the brightest stars near the Earth for exoplanets for a planned period of 2 years.
CHEOPS The CHaracterising ExOPlanet Satellite is a ESA mission planned for a 2019 launch which will search for transiting exoplanets orbiting bright stars which are known to host planets. The mission's main aims are to measure the density of super-Earths and Neptunes.
JWST The James Webb Space Telescope, seen in some ways as NASA's successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, is scheduled to launch in March 2021 and will operate at optical and near-infrared wavelengths. One of its mission aims will be the direct imaging of exoplanet systems.
PLATO Due for launch in 2026, ESA’s PLAnetary Transits and Oscillations of stars mission will search for transits by observing around a million stars, aiming discover Earth-like planets in the habitable zone around Sun-like stars where water might exist in the liquid state.
WFIRST The Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope is a NASA infra-red space observatory planned to launch in the mid-2020s.

While previous discoveries are no exclusively from the world's largest or most expensive telescopes, future ground-based studies will also benefit from the larger aperture telescopes currently being built or designed. With apertures three times the size of the current largest optical telescopes (and a collecting area 9 times larger), these telescopes will simply be able to look deeper into space and detect fainter objects than is currently possible.

GMT The Giant Magellan Telescope will be a 24.5 metre wide telescope at Las Campanas Observatory in Chile with first light planned for 2024.
ELT The Extremely Large Telescope is a 39 metre wide telescope under construction in northern Chile and planned for first light in 2024.
TMT The Thirty Meter Telescope is planned for the Mauna Kea site in Hawai'i' with potential first light in 2027.

Read more about the various detection methods.