Thursday 19 December 2013
The European Space Agency ESA sends their most advanced telescope into space to capture a billion stars with unprecedented accuracy. With the data, the biggest and most detailed 3D map of the Milky Way to be created.
The European space telescope “Gaia” is launched into space. The Soyuz rocket with the satellite on board was launched shortly after 10 clock on the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana. The launch was broadcast live on the Internet site of the European Space Agency ESA.
The mission is considered unique in the world: the research satellite is one and a half million kilometers from Earth five years measuring the position of the estimated at least 100 billion stars with great accuracy. According to the manufacturer Astrium “Gaia” is so precise that they could detect from Earth a one euro coin on the moon. From the research project, scientists hope the discovery of numerous planets in alien solar systems.
“Gaia” predecessor mission “Hipparcos” was measured in the years 1989 to 1993 approximately 100,000 stars with high precision and about 2.5 million stars with less accuracy. “‘Gaia’ is here our next quantum leap,” said project manager Andreas Rudolph. “We will find many items that we do not yet know.” According to the German Aerospace Center (DLR), the measurement accuracy of “Gaia” is 50 times higher than the most accurate measurements of “Hipparcos”. The new telescope will operate for five years.
the European Space Operations Centre of ESA in Darmstadt is responsible for the operation of the satellite.