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 12.05.16

Airborne 12.06.16

Airborne 11.30.16

Airborne 12.01.16

Airborne 12.02.16

Airborne Hi-Def On YouTube

Airborne 12.05.16

Airborne 12.06.16

Airborne 11.30.16

Airborne 12.01.16

Airborne 12.02.16

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 12.05.16: AutoGyro Certified, Police Seize Drone, GoPro Job Cuts

Also: Aldrin Evacuated, Shark US, Lufthansa, NASA, ESA's New Orbiter, FLIR Systems, Esterline The expression, “breaking news,” seems to be highly overused nowadays, but>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (12.06.16)

Closing Santa Monica Airport: Something Does Not Add Up The latest update from the the Santa Monica Airport pointing out the reasons that the arguments for closing the airport "don>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Term (12.06.16): Clutter

In radar operations, clutter refers to the reception and visual display of radar returns caused by precipitation, chaff, terrain, numerous aircraft targets, or other phenomena.>[...]

Aero-News: Quote of the Day (12.06.16)

"Regardless of our appreciation of the public policy arguments raised by opponents, we have been advised that the law and our bilateral obligations leave us no avenue to reject thi>[...]

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