Photo credit © Reuters
(Boursier.com) – The Gaia scientific satellite, designed and built by Astrium (EADS) was successfully launched from French Guiana, aboard a Soyuz rocket. Gaia, the most advanced space telescope ever built in Europe, was designed and built by Astrium for the European Space Agency (ESA).3D Mapping the Milky
The Gaia mission is to develop a highly accurate 3D map of our galaxy, to its ultimate borders. This new look at the Milky Way is to improve the understanding of its origins and evolution. The Gaia Mission should also enable the discovery of hundreds of thousands of unknown celestial objects, including extrasolar planets and failed stars called brown dwarfs. Within the solar system, Gaia also has the task of identifying tens of thousands of asteroids. A telescope tip!
Gaia is based on the best space technology. It carries the most modern instruments, including the most sensitive telescope ever made. “Gaia is a spatial system outsized: the precision of the instruments and the technical design Astrium illustrate the unique know-how in optical payloads,” said Eric Beranger, CEO of Astrium Satellites. This advanced equipment is based on a unique expertise developed by Astrium in the field of telescopes Silicon carbide (SiC). See hair 700 miles away
CLC technology allows Astrium and its partners to produce exceptional optical payloads for both scientific missions for observation Earth. Gaia will also use a photo sensor with an accuracy never equaled. It will make measurements with extremely high precision. 700 miles away, Gaia would be able to distinguish a hair, thanks to its huge focal plane of a billion pixels consists of 106 CCDs detectors. In position Lagrange point L2
The probe also uses for its attitude control, a cold gas propulsion, which allows it to remain perfectly stable and aim with the extreme accuracy. Gaia will be located on one of the five Lagrangian points of the Sun-Earth system, L2 item. Located 1.5 million km from Earth, it is a coveted by space astronomical observation missions developed. For the record, the Lagrange points are points of gravitational equilibrium of the solar system where a body orbiting the Sun at the same angular speed as the Earth. It thus remains fixed relative to the Sun-Earth axis.
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