Gaia Spreads Its Wings | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

Airborne Unlimited -- Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Airborne On ANN

Airborne 02.08.16

Airborne 02.09.16

Airborne 02.10.16

Airborne 02.11.16

Airborne 02.12.16

Airborne Hi-Def On YouTube

Airborne 02.08.16

Airborne 02.09.16

Airborne 02.10.16

Airborne 02.11.16

Airborne 02.12.16

Mon, Dec 12, 2011

Gaia Spreads Its Wings

European Probe's Sun Shield Deployed For The First Time

ESA's Gaia star-mapper has passed a critical test ahead of its launch in 2013: the spacecraft's sunshield has been deployed for the first time. Gaia's sunshield is an essential component of the mission. It keeps Gaia in shadow, maintaining the scientific instruments at a constant temperature of around -110 degrees centigrade.

ESA Photo

The sunshield is about 10 m across, which is too large for the launch vehicle fairing, so it has been built with a dozen folding panels that will be deployed after launch. Since the sunshield is designed for the weightlessness of space, it cannot support its own weight on Earth. So, during this test at Astrium in Toulouse, France, support cables and counterweights simulated weightless conditions and provided a realistic trial.

During its expected lifetime of five years, Gaia will take a census of a billion stars - roughly 1% of all of the stars in our Galaxy. It will observe each star about 70 times, each time recording its brightness, colour and, most importantly, its position. By comparing Gaia's series of exquisite observations, astronomers will precisely measure the apparent movement of each star across the heavens, enabling them to determine its distance and true motion through space. The unprecedented results will allow astronomers to trace the history of the Milky Way.

Before the 2013 launch, some of the solar array panels needed to generate power will be fixed to the sunshield. The rest will be placed on the bottom of the spacecraft.

FMI: www.esa.int

Advertisement

More News

Airborne 02.11.16: Drone #s Increase, Fokker D. VIII Replica, Gulfstream G500

Also: Albania Auction, Aero-Community: AEA!, 500 F-35 Hours, SeaPort Airlines, Maxcraft Avionics, Air Power Museum, Webb Space Telescope FAA Administrator Michael Huerta told a UAV>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (02.12.16)

Space Adventures Space Adventures' vision is to open spaceflight and the space frontier to private citizens. Over the next decade Space Adventures will fly more people to space tha>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Term (02.12.16): Climb To VFR

ATC authorization for an aircraft to climb to VFR conditions within Class B, C, D, and E surface areas when the only weather limitation is restricted visibility.>[...]

Aero-News: Quote Of The Day (02.12.16)

“U.S. airlines are vital to the health of our nation’s economy, and the flying public should not be asked to foot the bill for deficit reduction.” Source: Stateme>[...]

ANN FAQ: Here's How YOU Can Support The 'Let Bob Fly!' Documentary Project

Bob Has Asked ANN To Help Him Tell A Story That Could Transform The Fight For Airmen Rights... YOU Can Help! Just a few days ago, ANN dropped the first hints (of many to come) of w>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2016 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC