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 08.29.16

Airborne 08.30.16

Airborne 08.24.16

Airborne 08.25.16

Airborne 08.26.16

Airborne Hi-Def On YouTube

Airborne 08.29.16

Airborne 08.30.16

Airborne 08.24.16

Airborne 08.25.16

Airborne 08.26.16

Tweet Us The Coolest Things You See @OSH16!
#OSH16Coolest!

It's Alive!: AirVenture 2016 Innovation Preview on Vimeo!

It's Alive!: AirVenture 2016 Innovation Preview on YouTube!

 

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 08.29.16: sUAS Rules Get REAL, Pilots To The Rescue, ISS Update

Also: AA MD-80s, A320 Birdstrike, SWA Picketed, Randy Babbitt, STEREO Mission, Prince Harry v Poachers, ANA Dreamliners August 29 is a big day as it relates to recreational and non>[...]

Cheesy--Or Just Plain Dishonest? FlyQ Email Suggests ForeFlight Offer--But Isn't

Recent E-Mailing Suggests One Product... But Is Actually Something Else Altogether ANN has made much of the fact that we, as a community, need to be able to depend on one another a>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Term (08.30.16): Advisory Frequency

The appropriate frequency to be used for Airport Advisory Service.>[...]

Aero-News: Quote of the Day (08.30.16)

“we’ve reached another significant milestone. With the small UAS rule now in effect, the commercial drone industry is cleared for takeoff.” Source: AUVSI presiden>[...]

ANN FAQ: How To Get YOUR News Out On Aero-News

Good News, Bad News... It's ALL News As the preeminent online aviation news resource out there, the editorial staff at Aero-News sees a large number of news releases. We look at al>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

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