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 05.18.15

Airborne 05.26.15

Airborne 05.27.15

Airborne 05.28.15

Airborne 05.29.15

Airborne Hi-Def On YouTube

Airborne 05.18.15

Airborne 05.26.15

Airborne 05.27.15

Airborne 05.28.15

Airborne 05.29.15

 

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 05.28.15: LA Heli Noise, Another NIMBY Case Defeated, GoodBye VOR/NDB

Also: Gone West: Tuskegee Airman LtC Mosley, Union Warned, E-4B Returns, All-Female UAL Crew, Malaysia Woes, Luke's 56th FW Last week, the FAA released a document stating that sign>[...]

AeroSports Update: BASE Jumpers Want Jumping Rights In National Parks

A Petition Has Been Posted To Remove BASE Jumping From U.S. National Park Aerial Delivery Law BASE jumping certainly falls into the category of extreme sports. Base jumping activis>[...]

AD: Slingsby Aviation Ltd. Airplanes

AD NUMBER: 015-11-01 PRODUCT: Slingsby Aviation Ltd. Models T67M260 and T67M260-T3A airplanes.>[...]

AD: International Aero Engines AG Turbofan Engines

AD NUMBER: 2015-10-04 PRODUCT: All International Aero Engines AG (IAE) V2500-A1, V2525-D5, and V2528-D5 turbofan engines, and certain serial numbers (S/Ns) of IAE V2522-A5, V2524-A>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (05.29.15)

The North American Trainer Association (NATA) This is an independent, non-profit corporation dedicated to the restoration and safe flying of North American Trainers such as the AT->[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2015 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC