Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Space Travel News .




LAUNCH PAD
Arianespace to "reach for the stars" with its Soyuz launch of Europe's Gaia space surveyor spacecraft
by Staff Writers
Kourou, French Guiana (ESA) Sep 05, 2013


File image: Antonov An-124 cargo jetliner.

Europe's Gaia "star-mapper" has arrived in French Guiana for an Arianespace Soyuz launch later this year on a mission to chart the locations and motions of a billion stars, while also opening opportunities in discovering new celestial objects in the hundreds of thousands.

Gaia was delivered aboard a chartered Antonov An-124 cargo jetliner at Felix Eboue International Airport near the capital city of Cayenne - clearing the way for its transfer via road to the Spaceport.

With a liftoff mass of 2,030 kg. - which includes the spacecraft's two optical telescopes, three science instruments, as well as a 10-meter deployable "skirt" as a sunshield and a power generator - Gaia will observe one billion stars approximately 70 times each over five years.

A truly impressive space charting mission

Many aspects of this mission - organized by the European Space Agency - are impressive. The spacecraft carries one of the largest digital cameras to be placed in space (with nearly one billion pixels), and is designed to detect celestial objects that are a million times fainter than the unaided human eye can see.

Built by Astrium at its Toulouse, France facility, Gaia will be operated by the European Space Agency to provide a representative sample from which the properties of the entire galaxy can be measured, ultimately allowing astronomers to determine its origin and evolution.

Gaia's two optical telescopes will determine star locations and velocities, splitting their light into a spectrum for analysis. The spacecraft will operate from an orbit around the Sun, at the L2 Lagrangian point located some 1.5 million kilometers beyond Earth's orbit.

Discoveries numbering in the hundreds of thousands also anticipated

During its operation, Gaia also is expected to find hundreds of thousands of new celestial objects - including asteroids, comets, extra-solar planets, brown dwarf "failed stars," supernovae and quasars.

When completed, the mission's data archive should exceed 1 petabyte (1 million gigabytes), which is equivalent to about 200,000 DVDs worth of data.

Gaia arrived at French Guiana with a portion of its ground support equipment. A second air cargo flight later this month is to bring Gaia's sunshield and the remaining ground support equipment.

A mission follow-up to Hipparcos, also launched by Arianespace

The star-mapper has its roots in the European Space Agency's Hipparcos space astrometry platform, lofted by Arianespace on an Ariane-series vehicle in 1989. The Soyuz mission with Gaia is designated VS07 in Arianespace's launcher family numbering system, representing this medium-lift workhorse's seventh flight from French Guiana.

It will follow two other Arianespace launches currently in preparation at the Spaceport: Flight VA215, scheduled for August 29 with an Ariane 5 to orbit the EUTELSAT 25B/Es'hail 1 and GSAT-7 relay satellites; and VS06, targeted in late September with a Soyuz to deploy four connectivity spacecraft for O3b Networks.

.


Related Links
Arianespace
Launch Pad at Space-Travel.com






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





LAUNCH PAD
The go-ahead is given for Ariane 5 mission to orbit EUTELSAT 25B/Es'hail 1 and GSAT-7
Kourou, French Guiana (ESA) Aug 28, 2013
Arianespace's fourth Ariane 5 mission of 2013 has been approved for liftoff on Thursday with two communications satellites to provide relay coverage over the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia, along with the Indian land mass. The authorization followed today's successful launch readiness review conducted at the Spaceport in French Guiana. This procedure - held prior to all Arianes ... read more


LAUNCH PAD
Arianespace to "reach for the stars" with its Soyuz launch of Europe's Gaia space surveyor spacecraft

Ariane 5 build-up is completed for Arianespace upcoming flight with EUTELSAT

Russian rocket engine export ban could halt US space program

The go-ahead is given for Ariane 5 mission to orbit EUTELSAT 25B/Es'hail 1 and GSAT-7

LAUNCH PAD
NASA Evaluates Four Candidate Sites for 2016 Mars Mission

Examining Rocks Around Boulder Field

We may all be Martians

Mars Curiosity Debuts Autonomous Navigation

LAUNCH PAD
NASA spacecraft to study Moon's atmosphere

Moon landing mission to use "secret weapons"

NASA Prepares for First Virginia Coast Launch to Moon

NASA Selects Launch Services Contract for OSIRIS-REx Mission

LAUNCH PAD
New Horizons - Late in Cruise, and a Binary Ahoy

Pluto Science Conference Exceeds Expectations

SciTechTalk: Grab your erasers, there are more moons than we thought

NASA Hubble Finds New Neptune Moon

LAUNCH PAD
Observations strongly suggest distant super-Earth has water atmosphere

Waking up to a new year

Study: Planets might be 'born free' without a parent star

Distant planet sets speed record by orbiting its star every 8.5 hours

LAUNCH PAD
Proposed Russian spacecraft to have a modern convenience -- a toilet

Japan suspends satellite rocket launch at last minute

NASA Tests Limits of 3-D Printing with Powerful Rocket Engine Check

NASA Continues Preparation for SLS Engine Testing at Stennis

LAUNCH PAD
China civilian technology satellites put into use

China to launch lunar lander by end of year: media

China launches three experimental satellites

Medical quarantine over for Shenzhou-10 astronauts

LAUNCH PAD
Prehistoric climate change due to cosmic crash in Canada

Comet ISON to fly by Mars

'Trojan' asteroids in far reaches of solar system more common than previously thought

NASA Releases New Imagery of Asteroid Mission




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement