Department of Physics and Astronomy

ESA's billion-star Galactic Surveyor 'Gaia' successfully launched

2013-12-20

After seven years of preparation, the ESA cornerstone mission Gaia was successfully launched from French Guyana at 1012 h (CET) on the 19th of December. It is now on its way to Lagrange point 2, 1.5 million kilometers outside Earth's orbit.

Several scientists from the Department of Physics and Astronomy have had active roles in the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC), a team of some 400 scientists around Europe which has prepared the software side of the mission. Soon, this software will be put to the test on actual Gaia data. This moment is of course anxiously awaited.

The Swedish National Space Board has been supporting the Gaia team at Uppsala University with research grants totalling 15 million SEK. On top of that, Gaia-related research at Lund and Uppsala was recently awarded a Knut and Alice Wallenberg project grant of 34 million SEK.

For more information, see
http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Gaia/Liftoff_for_ESA_s_b...

http://teknat.uu.se/Nyheter/?id=3119&area=2,5,10,16&typ=artikel&na=&lang=sv (in Swedish)

and
http://www.wallenberg.com/kaw/vintergatan-ger-svar-pa-hur-galaxer-bildas (in Swedish)

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