The IR Space Interferometer Darwin is an integral part of ESA's Cosmic Vision 2020 plan, intended for a launch towards the middle of next decade. It has been the subject of a feasibility study and is now undergiogn technological development. The scientific scope is aimed towards developing a system that could carry out the search for, and characterization of Earth-like planets orbiting other stars. A secondary objective is to carry out imaging of astrophysical objects with unprecedented spatial resolution. The implementation of Darwin is based on the new technique of 'nulling interferometery', in the mid-IR and becomes the culmination of a decade of technology- and science precursor missions. Darwin is also foreseen to be carrie dout in an international context.© (2003) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.