Kourou 19 December 2013
It was launched yesterday from the space base in Kourou (French Guiana), with a Soyuz rocket, the Gaia satellite, developed with the support of Thales Alenia Space. Its mission will be to produce a more accurate three-dimensional map of our galaxy, including the position of the stars, the movements and the physical properties in order to understand the origin and evolution. The scientific satellite of ESA (European Space Agency) inherits from its predecessor Hipparcos the role of real stellar cartographer.
Gaia will scan the sky continuously for a distance of approximately 1.6 million kilometers from Earth in the opposite direction from the Sun and the five -year duration of the mission will provide data on approximately a million stars , with a level of unprecedented accuracy (8.000 times the number of stars observed).
The contribution of Thales Alenia Space has been critical to the design and development of X-band transponder as well as the Clock Distribution Unit (CDU ), the system micropropulsion and interconnect modules in the focal plane of the satellite over the interconnect module, a contribution obtained thanks to the work done in the different sites of Rome, Milan and L'Aquila, all actively involved in the project.