Introducing Gaia, ESA’s next astronometry mission


We’re very pleased to have two SpaceUp participants working on the Gaia project, ESA’s astronometry mission launching mid-september.
Isabelle is french, works for Astrium and is responsible for quality insurance for the Gaia spacecraft assembly and tests phases in Toulouse. Torgeir is norwegian (he’s our only norwegian participant!) and will explain why exactly ESA has chosen to do this mission, with this design.

Torgeir, can you tell us in just a few words what exactly is Gaia?

Gaia is an space Astronometry mission. 

It’s an ESA cornerstone mission, meaning the european astronomers consider the science objective very important, we have access to a large budget, it is supported by a large scientific community and gets all the support it needs from the Agency.

Gaia Flight model during tests

How ready is the spacecraft?

The spacecraft is basically ready to be shipped to Kourou for launch on 19 September!

Can you tell us what your role is in the project?

I’ve been involved in the project from the days it was just a feasibility study up to today, mostly involved in algorithm development, the onboard payload computer. So basically the science instrument!

 

Thank you, we look forward to both your presentations!

     – More information about Gaia on ESA’s website.

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