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International Space Flight (ESA, Russia, China and others) => ESA Launchers - Ariane, Soyuz at CSG, Vega => Topic started by: jacqmans on 12/16/2009 02:25 PM

Title: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: jacqmans on 12/16/2009 02:25 PM
Arianespace to launch Gaia; European Space Agency mission will observe a billion stars in our Galaxy
Evry, December 16, 2009

Gaia is a successor to the Hipparcos satellite launched by Arianespace in 1989.  Gaia will be placed into deep space beyond lunar orbit by a Soyuz rocket launched from the Guiana Space Center (French Guiana) in 2012. The orbit will be of a Lissajous-type around the second Lagrange point (L2).

Built by Astrium, Gaia will weigh about 2,100 kg at launch. Like Hipparcos, a pioneer in space-based astronomy, Gaia will observe more than a billion objects with magnitudes down to 20. Gaia will enable scientists to provide even more accurate answers concerning the formation, composition and evolution of our Galaxy, the Milky Way, extrasolar planets and other galaxies.

“Arianespace is especially proud of contributing to scientific knowledge by launching Gaia,” said Jean-Yves Le Gall, Chairman and CEO of Arianespace. “Like Hipparcos, it will revolutionize our understanding of the Universe. This latest contract, the fifth we have signed in 2009 for a Soyuz launch from the Guiana Space Center, is clear recognition of the quality and competitiveness of our launch service and solutions. It also largely illustrates the advantages of the European family of launch vehicles developed by ESA and operated by Arianespace.”

According to David Southwood, Director of Science and Robotic Exploration: "Gaia is a grand challenge to understanding our galaxy, to find out what it is made of and, thus, where we have come from. Europe alone has taken up the challenge. We therefore are very pleased to be launched by Arianespace."

About Arianespace

Arianespace is the world’s leading launch Service & Solutions company, delivering innovative offer to its customers since 1980. Backed by its 23 shareholders and the European Space Agency, Arianespace proposes an unrivalled launcher family, comprising Ariane 5, Soyuz and Vega, and an international workforce renowned for their culture of commitment and excellence. As of 1st december 2009, Arianespace had launched a total of 276 payloads, including more than half of all the commercial satellites now in service worldwide. It has a backlog of 25 Ariane 5 and 10 Soyuz launches, equal to 3 years of business.
Title: Re: Arianespace to launch Gaia; ESA mission will observe a billion stars
Post by: Analyst on 12/16/2009 05:58 PM
Gaia will be a hell of a mission. Exploration in the very sense.

Analyst
Title: Re: Arianespace to launch Gaia; ESA mission will observe a billion stars
Post by: whitewatcher on 01/12/2010 09:05 AM
Gaia will be a hell of a mission. Exploration in the very sense.

Yep. I'm happy to see what they are doing with my tax money.
Title: Re: Arianespace to launch Gaia; ESA mission will observe a billion stars
Post by: woods170 on 01/12/2010 06:57 PM
Gaia will be a hell of a mission. Exploration in the very sense.

Yep. I'm happy to see what they are doing with my tax money.

Yeah, me too. I generally prefer ESA doing unmanned missions with a high science pay-off, instead of wasting money on flying humans in space. But, let's not get distracted.  :D
Gaia is going to be very exciting. If all goes well, she will be a worthy successor to Hipparcos.
Title: Re: Arianespace to launch Gaia; ESA mission will observe a billion stars
Post by: whitewatcher on 01/14/2010 08:29 AM
I generally prefer ESA doing unmanned missions with a high science pay-off, instead of wasting money on flying humans in space.

Sorry, I work in european manned spaceflight.  :P  ;D
But I don't see a competition .... office next door is working on Gaia.  8)
Title: Re: Arianespace to launch Gaia; ESA mission will observe a billion stars
Post by: Lambda-4 on 01/14/2010 08:57 AM
Yeah, me too. I generally prefer ESA doing unmanned missions with a high science pay-off, instead of wasting money on flying humans in space.

ESA's and ESA memberstates' participation in the ISS program does yield science returns. It's a good thing. There are other programs that are far more wasteful that have questionable motives and will result in questionable results (e.g. the development of Vega).
Title: Re: Arianespace to launch Gaia; ESA mission will observe a billion stars
Post by: Space Pete on 09/14/2010 06:54 PM
Delivery of Gaia's primary mirrors.

ESA's mission to measure the precise positions of a billion stars reached an important milestone on 3 September with the delivery of its first primary mirror. The second primary mirror is near completion and scheduled to arrive at the Toulouse test and integration centre of prime contractor EADS Astrium during October.

Gaia will carry two identical telescopes, each fitted with four mirrors (M1 to 4). A further two mirrors (M5 and 6) will send the light from these dual instruments into the same focal plane. To date, six of the 10 rectangular mirrors have been delivered. They are: the M3A tertiary mirror, whose dimensions are 0.65 x 0.275 m; both of the M4 combiner mirrors (dimensions 0.19 x 0.07 m), and the M5 and M6 mirrors (dimensions 0.54 x 0.36 m), in addition to the M1A primary mirror (dimensions 1.49 x 0.54 m).

All of the mirrors have been fabricated from blanks made of sintered silicon carbide (SiC), a relatively new material in mirror fabrication for space missions. The blanks were made by Boostec in France. Silicon carbide was selected because it allows each mirror to be extremely strong and rigid, but lightweight and with a high thermal conductivity - important not only for its on-orbit performance, but also for minimising deformations caused by Earth's gravity during ground testing.

Each primary mirror is shaped by the French company Sagem (located close to Paris), using computer-guided milling and polishing machines, and weighs about 40 kg. To achieve sufficient smoothness, all of the mirror blanks were coated with a thin layer of silicon carbide by chemical vapour deposition before polishing started. This process was carried out by Schunk Kohlenstofftechnik in Heuchelheim, Germany. The polishing is a slow, painstaking process which requires each mirror to be polished to a precision of about 10 nanometres RMS. To appreciate this technical achievement one can consider that if the Gaia M1 mirror was scaled to the size of the Atlantic ocean, any bumps on the surface would be of the order of a few centimetres.

The mirrors also have an unusual curved shape, which is calculated using a very precise mathematical formula so that there will be no distortion of the incoming light across the telescopes' field of view and at all wavelengths from blue to red.

After polishing, the surface is coated with enhanced silver reflective coating. This coating involves the addition of a dielectric amplification layer, which protects the silver from tarnishing and enhances its reflectivity across the entire spectral range (320 – 1000 nanometres) to be studied by Gaia.

"The mirrors are being integrated on the structural payload module in order to complete the optical train and enable testing to begin," said Mathias Erdmann, ESA's Gaia payload system engineer. "Their shape and size were determined by the room available within the payload fairing of the Soyuz-Fregat launcher."

"The M1 mirrors have a collecting area about 11 times bigger than the primary mirror of its predecessor, ESA's Hipparcos astrometry spacecraft, enabling them to collect many more photons," said Jos de Bruijne, Deputy Project Scientist for Gaia.

"The combination of size, smoothness and special shape is required to provide a wide angle of view - about 0.7 degrees - and a small wave front error that will give extremely sharp images of a billion stars in our Galaxy."

Illustratrion of the Gaia payload module indicating the location of the M1 mirrors. Credit: ESA
Gaia will view two widely separated areas of the sky, using two identical telescopes. Over its five-year mission, it will scan the entire sky, observing each of its target stars about 70 times. By accurately monitoring the two-dimensional star positions on the sky, it will be possible to infer their lateral motions across the sky and to calculate their precise three-dimensional locations, even for objects as far away as the galactic centre. Gaia will also measure the spectra of the brightest 15% of those stars, mainly in order to determine their radial velocities. Launch of Gaia on a Soyuz-Fregat is currently scheduled for November 2012.

Source (with accompanying image). (http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=47688)
Title: Re: Arianespace to launch Gaia; ESA mission will observe a billion stars
Post by: Space Pete on 09/29/2010 09:16 PM
Gaia's Mechanical Service Module leaves Stevenage.

A significant milestone was reached this summer on the Gaia programme, with Astrium Stevenage completing work on the Mechanical Service Module. Once in space, the Service Module will control the functioning of the entire spacecraft. At this stage it consists of a mechanical structure, built in Spain, integrated in Stevenage with its electrical harness and its two propulsion systems - one a chemical system and the other a cold gas micro-propulsion system. The micro-propulsion feed module was manufactured at Astrium's Portsmouth factory.

The first stage in the service module's journey after leaving Stevenage was to a facility at Westcott, where the micro-propulsion system was pressure tested. It then travelled to Toulouse where its electronic equipment will be installed before the Payload Module is integrated and tested.

The European Space Agency's Gaia mission will examine the Milky Way in unprecedented 3-D detail, surveying more than one billion stars to make the largest, most precise map of our Galaxy to date.

Gaia is one of the most important current space projects for the UK, which has won about €80M of contracts from ESA (European Space Agency) to build the spacecraft.


www.ukspaceagency.bis.gov.uk/News-and-Events/News/19752.aspx
Title: Re: Arianespace to launch Gaia; ESA mission will observe a billion stars
Post by: bolun on 12/06/2011 06:53 PM
Gaia sunshield deployment test

02 Dec 2011 16:53

Deployment testing of the Gaia Flight Model Deployable Sunshield Assembly has been successfully completed in preparation for the spacecraft mechanical test campaign.

http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=49710

and

http://www.esa.int/esaSC/SEMKL45XPVG_index_0.html
Title: Re: Arianespace to launch Gaia; ESA mission will observe a billion stars
Post by: bolun on 04/11/2012 05:16 PM
Gaia Basic Angle Monitor delivered for integration

11 Apr 2012 16:19

The protoflight models of the two Basic Angle Monitor (BAM) Opto-Mechanical Assembly (OMA) bars have been delivered to the spacecraft Prime Contractor and are being prepared for integration into the Payload Module (PM).

 http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=50207
Title: Re: Arianespace to launch Gaia; ESA mission will observe a billion stars
Post by: bolun on 07/02/2012 09:08 PM
Gaia checks out of antenna testing

http://www.esa.int/esaSC/SEMWFV1VW3H_index_0.html
Title: Re: Arianespace to launch Gaia; ESA mission will observe a billion stars
Post by: bolun on 07/09/2012 01:11 PM
Gaia Phased Array Antenna delivered and integrated

06 Jul 2012 10:38

The phased array antenna that Gaia will use to send its science data to Earth has been delivered and integrated onto the Service Module. The antenna provides the high gain and data rate needed to allow large volumes of data to be transmitted over the 1.5 million kilometres that will separate the spacecraft's operational orbit from Earth. The use of electronic beam steering allows the signal to be directed towards Earth as the spacecraft rotates; a conventional, mechanically pointed antenna would cause microvibrations, seriously impacting the performance of the telescope.

http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=50523
Title: Re: Arianespace to launch Gaia; ESA mission will observe a billion stars
Post by: bolun on 08/17/2012 08:09 PM
New Brochure Number 296 about GAIA Mission, it is possible to read online and to download in PDF version.

http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/ESA_Publications/SEMA3TPXV4H_0.html
Title: Re: Arianespace to launch Gaia; ESA mission will observe a billion stars
Post by: bolun on 09/10/2012 03:28 PM
#05: Gaia Service Module Thermal Balance/Thermal Vacuum testing completed

10 Sep 2012

The Protoflight Model of the Gaia Service Module has successfully completed thermal balance and thermal vacuum testing in the SIMLES chamber at Intespace Toulouse. These tests verify the thermal performance of the spacecraft module under space conditions.

http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=50740

and

http://www.esa.int/esaSC/SEMR69AYT6H_index_0.html

Title: Re: Arianespace to launch Gaia; ESA mission will observe a billion stars
Post by: bolun on 09/18/2012 01:19 PM
#06: Gaia Payload Module Integration Completed

17 Sep 2012 12:00

Integration of the Flight Model of the Gaia Payload Module has been completed. It has undergone acceptance vibration testing; thermal balance and thermal vacuum testing will be carried out towards the end of this year.

http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=50764
Title: Re: Arianespace to launch Gaia; ESA mission will observe a billion stars
Post by: jebbo on 05/16/2013 04:29 PM
Some useful stuff:

Powerpoint presentation: http://www.ast.cam.ac.uk/ioa/iau_comm8/iau28/presentations/deBruijne.pdf (http://www.ast.cam.ac.uk/ioa/iau_comm8/iau28/presentations/deBruijne.pdf)
Paper on transits: http://www.sea-astronomia.es/drupal/sites/default/files/archivos/proceedings10/ciencias_planetarias/ORALES/vossh.pdf (http://www.sea-astronomia.es/drupal/sites/default/files/archivos/proceedings10/ciencias_planetarias/ORALES/vossh.pdf)
Title: Re: Arianespace to launch Gaia; ESA mission will observe a billion stars
Post by: jebbo on 05/16/2013 04:31 PM
And another presentation specifically on exoplanets:

http://www.mpe.mpg.de/events/ropacs-2012/Talks/Sozzetti_Gaia.pdf (http://www.mpe.mpg.de/events/ropacs-2012/Talks/Sozzetti_Gaia.pdf)
Title: Re: Arianespace to launch Gaia; ESA mission will observe a billion stars
Post by: bolun on 06/14/2013 02:58 PM
Gaia mission poster

http://spaceinimages.esa.int/Images/2013/06/Gaia_mission_poster

Image credit: ESA
Title: Re: Arianespace to launch Gaia; ESA mission will observe a billion stars
Post by: jebbo on 06/19/2013 01:45 PM
The Gaia Spacecraft Flight Model has successfully completed its mass properties test campaign.

http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=51921
Title: Re: Arianespace to launch Gaia; ESA mission will observe a billion stars
Post by: jebbo on 06/24/2013 01:05 PM
Video posted 13/6/13:

http://spaceinvideos.esa.int/Videos/2013/06/GAIA_soon_to_map_the_Milky_Way
Title: Re: Arianespace to launch Gaia; ESA mission will observe a billion stars
Post by: bolun on 06/27/2013 11:42 AM
Europe bids Gaia a safe journey

27 June 2013

ESA’s billion-star surveyor, Gaia, has completed final preparations in Europe and is ready to depart for its launch site in French Guiana, set to embark on a five-year mission to map the stars with unprecedented precision.

Gaia’s main goal is to create a highly accurate 3D map of our Milky Way Galaxy by repeatedly observing a billion stars to determine their precise positions in space and their motions through it.

Other measurements will assess the vital physical properties of each star, including its temperature, luminosity and composition.

The resulting census will allow astronomers to determine the origin and the evolution of our Galaxy.

Gaia will also uncover tens of thousands of previously unseen objects, including asteroids in our Solar System, planets around nearby stars, and exploding stars – supernovas – in other galaxies.

http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Gaia/Europe_bids_Gaia_a_safe_journey
Title: Re: Arianespace to launch Gaia; ESA mission will observe a billion stars
Post by: jebbo on 07/11/2013 11:54 AM
A nice in-depth article from "The Engineer":

http://www.theengineer.co.uk/aerospace/in-depth/gaia-the-cosmic-camera-that-will-chart-a-billion-stars/1016691.article

Title: Re: Arianespace to launch Gaia; ESA mission will observe a billion stars
Post by: jebbo on 07/23/2013 12:32 PM
From @ESAGaia on Twitter:

"Today Gaia passed the Flight Acceptance Review successfully. Launch slot 17 November - 5 December 2013 agreed."
Title: Re: Arianespace to launch Gaia; ESA mission will observe a billion stars
Post by: jebbo on 08/01/2013 10:58 AM
From @ESAGaia on Twitter:

"Gaia will leave Europe for the launch site on 22 Aug. Sunshield will follow with a second Antonov flight on 28 Aug."
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS07 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia November/December 2013
Post by: holgar5 on 08/01/2013 06:37 PM
From @ESAGaia on Twitter:

"Gaia will leave Europe for the launch site on 22 Aug. Sunshield will follow with a second Antonov flight on 28 Aug."

Interesting! Was this moved up? I was thinking that this will happen in early September.
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS07 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia November/December 2013
Post by: Salo on 08/15/2013 08:28 PM
http://www.cnes.fr/web/CNES-en/1553-launch-dates.php
Quote
20 November 2013
Gaïa satellite launch
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS07 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia November/December 2013
Post by: jebbo on 08/19/2013 08:01 AM
Latest newletter from the Gaia data processing consortium:

http://www.rssd.esa.int/SA/GAIA/docs/DPAC/web/DPAC_NL_021.pdf

Interesting stuff on the initial QSO catalogue.
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS07 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia November/December 2013
Post by: holgar5 on 08/22/2013 02:25 PM
ESA blog about the launch preparations:
http://blogs.esa.int/gaia/2013/08/20/the-next-steps-a-timeline-of-the-final-launch-preparations/
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS07 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia November/December 2013
Post by: Jester on 08/23/2013 12:23 PM
http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Gaia/Gaia_has_arrived_in_French_Guiana (http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Gaia/Gaia_has_arrived_in_French_Guiana)
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS07 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia November/December 2013
Post by: jcm on 08/24/2013 05:06 AM
Very exciting! I actually believe that Gaia is a more important mission than the (much more expensive) JWST - please take good care of it there in Kourou!
Title: Re: Arianespace to launch Gaia; ESA mission will observe a billion stars
Post by: jcm on 08/24/2013 05:08 AM
The Gaia Spacecraft Flight Model has successfully completed its mass properties test campaign.

http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=51921

Would be nice if the article actually mentioned what the mass turned out to be!
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS07 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia November/December 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 08/24/2013 06:01 AM
Speaking of GAIA's predecessor Hipparcos, did its failure in getting to geostationary orbit affected its position determining accuracy?
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS07 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia November/December 2013
Post by: Jester on 08/24/2013 09:14 AM
Launch planned for 20th of November (unconfirmed, via Gaia QA)
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS07 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia November/December 2013
Post by: jcm on 08/24/2013 02:28 PM
Speaking of GAIA's predecessor Hipparcos, did its failure in getting to geostationary orbit affected its position determining accuracy?

I don't believe so - I think the accuracy was mostly proportional to accumulated observing time, which could have been reduced due to both only being able to observe at apogee and shorter spacecraft lifetime due to radiation damage to the solar panels. In the event the radiation damage wasn't as bad as expected and the mission lasted 4 years - the final mission catalog claims that all original mission goals were exceeded
Title: Re: Arianespace to launch Gaia; ESA mission will observe a billion stars
Post by: Jester on 08/25/2013 11:24 AM
The Gaia Spacecraft Flight Model has successfully completed its mass properties test campaign.

http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=51921 (http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=51921)

Would be nice if the article actually mentioned what the mass turned out to be!

Last time I checked it was 743kg but i'm not on the Gaia team...
Title: Re: Arianespace to launch Gaia; ESA mission will observe a billion stars
Post by: jcm on 08/25/2013 09:43 PM
The Gaia Spacecraft Flight Model has successfully completed its mass properties test campaign.

http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=51921 (http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=51921)

Would be nice if the article actually mentioned what the mass turned out to be!

Last time I checked it was 743kg but i'm not on the Gaia team...

Hmm odd - I have the expected value in my notes as 1934 kg launch, 1392 kg dry. and http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Operations/Gaia says 2030 kg.
Title: Re: Arianespace to launch Gaia; ESA mission will observe a billion stars
Post by: Jester on 08/26/2013 08:03 AM
The Gaia Spacecraft Flight Model has successfully completed its mass properties test campaign.

http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=51921 (http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=51921)

Would be nice if the article actually mentioned what the mass turned out to be!

Last time I checked it was 743kg but i'm not on the Gaia team...

Hmm odd - I have the expected value in my notes as 1934 kg launch, 1392 kg dry. and http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Operations/Gaia (http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Operations/Gaia) says 2030 kg.

743kg is payload only.

full mass was 2120 kg

again, i'm not on the Gaia team, i'll try and get those numbers confirmed...
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS07 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia November 20th 2013
Post by: jebbo on 08/27/2013 10:31 AM
Gaia has arrived in French Guiana:

http://www.redorbit.com/news/space/1112930486/gaia-arrived-in-french-guiana-today/

And a nice article from the BBC:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-23779294

--- Tony
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS07 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia November 20th 2013
Post by: jebbo on 08/28/2013 07:56 AM
From @ESAGaia on Twitter:

"shipment No.2: #Gaia’s sunshield and ground support equipment ready for transport from Toulouse to French Guiana. Take-off later today." [8:50am 25/8/13]

"#Gaia’s 10m diameter sunshield will shade the spacecraft’s sensitive telescopes and cameras http://spaceinvideos.esa.int/Videos/2013/06/Gaia_sunshade_deployment" [8:56am 25/8/13]

--- Tony
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS07 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia November 20th 2013
Post by: jacqmans on 08/29/2013 08:52 AM
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS07 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia November 20th 2013
Post by: Jester on 08/29/2013 11:29 AM
ESA Gaia ‏@ESAGaia 2h

#Gaia transport: Antonov aircraft arrived in French Guiana. Off-load of the Deployable Sunshield Assembly (DSA) currently ongoing.
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS07 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia November 20th 2013
Post by: jacqmans on 08/31/2013 07:12 AM
Start-up of payload preparations brings Europe’s Gaia another step closer to its mission to map a billion stars

August 29, 2013 – Soyuz Flight VS07

Europe’s billion-star surveyor, Gaia, is getting its first glimpse of the Spaceport where payload preparations have commenced for this spacecraft’s launch on an Arianespace Soyuz mission later in 2013. 

Gaia is now undergoing processing inside the Spaceport’s S1B payload preparation facility – where the advanced “star-mapper” was transported following its delivery this month to French Guiana by a cargo jetliner.

Today, another cargo aircraft arrived in French Guiana with Gaia’s deployable sunshield assembly and electrical ground support test equipment for the spacecraft’s pre-launch checkout.  The sunshield – which is to have a diameter of just over 10 meters when opened in space – will permanently shade Gaia’s telescopes and will serve as a power generator for the spacecraft.

In a mission organized by the European Space Agency, the spacecraft is designed to chart the locations and motions of a billion stars in order to create the largest-ever three-dimensional map of the Milky Way. Gaia was built by Astrium at its Toulouse, France facility.

Equipped with two optical telescopes to determine star locations and velocities, along with three science instruments and one of the largest digital cameras ever to be placed in space, Gaia is able to detect celestial objects that are a million times fainter than the unaided human eye can see.

For all objects brighter than magnitude 15 (which is 4,000 times fainter than the naked eye limit), Gaia will measure their positions to an accuracy of 24 microarcseconds – which is comparable to measuring the diameter of a human hair from a distance of 1,000 km.

After deployment by Soyuz, Gaia will monitor each of its target stars approximately 70 times over a five-year period and precisely chart their positions, distances, movements and changes in brightness. The spacecraft is expected to discover hundreds of thousands of new celestial objects – including asteroids, comets, extra-solar planets, brown dwarf “failed stars,” supernovae and quasars – from its orbital position at the L2 Lagrangian point some 1.5 million kilometers beyond Earth’s orbit.

A massive amount of data will be collected over Gaia’s planned five-year mission, with its full archive to exceed 1 petabyte in size – providing enough information to tackle many important problems related to the origin, structure and evolutionary history of the galaxy. 

This upcoming Arianespace flight is designated VS07 in the company’s numbering system, denoting the seventh Soyuz liftoff from French Guiana since the medium-lift vehicle’s October 2011 service entry.

http://www.arianespace.com/news-mission-update/2013/1093.asp
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS07 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia November 20th 2013
Post by: jebbo on 09/02/2013 02:22 PM
New Gaia blog post:

http://blogs.esa.int/gaia/2013/09/02/meet-the-team-whats-a-project-controller-doing-all-the-way-into-the-jungle/

--- Tony
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS07 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia November 20th 2013
Post by: Jester on 09/05/2013 11:22 AM
sunshield arrival
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS07 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia November 20th 2013
Post by: jebbo on 09/06/2013 08:31 AM
Another blog post about the Gaia orbit:

http://blogs.esa.int/gaia/2013/09/06/gaia-goes-to-l2-whats-an-ell-two/

--- Tony
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS07 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia November 20th 2013
Post by: Jester on 09/12/2013 06:07 PM
Cross post from the other thread, per Gaia QA, the mission name remains VS07
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS07 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia November 20th 2013
Post by: holgar5 on 09/16/2013 09:07 AM
Official launch date for this mission from http://www.rssd.esa.int/index.php?project=GAIA&page=index

20 November 2013
08:57:30 UTC
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS07 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia November 20th 2013
Post by: Salo on 09/17/2013 11:00 AM
Cross post from the other thread, per Gaia QA, the mission name remains VS07
A special sunshield is readied for Arianespace's Soyuz mission with the Gaia star-mapper

September 16, 2013 – Soyuz Flight VS06

The deployable sunshield framework for Europe’s Gaia billion-star surveyor has been unpacked at the Spaceport, marking a new milestone in preparations for Arianespace’s next mission with its medium-lift Soyuz launcher.

This skirt-type structure will be just over 10 meters in diameter when opened in space, serving as a sunshade to permanently protect Gaia’s telescopes and allow their temperatures to drop to below –100 degrees Celsius, while also acting as a power generator for the spacecraft. The shield’s underside will be partially covered with solar panels and always is to face the Sun, generating electricity to operate the spacecraft and its instruments.

Gaia was developed by the European Space Agency and produced by Astrium for an ambitious mission to chart a three-dimensional map of the Milky Way.  In the process, it will reveal the galaxy’s composition, formation and evolution.

The launch is planned for November 20. With a liftoff mass of 2,030 kg., Gaia is to be placed by the Soyuz launcher on a trajectory to an orbit around the Sun at a location known as the L2 Lagrangian point.

Arianespace’s mission with Gaia will be the Spaceport’s second liftoff with the Russian workhorse launcher in 2013.  It is now designated Flight VS06, taking the numbering previously assigned to an upcoming Soyuz launch with four O3b Network satellites – which has been delayed at the customer’s request.

http://www.arianespace.com/news-mission-update/2013/1097.asp

Gaia’s deployable sunshield framework is readied in the Spaceport’s S1C clean room facility after removal from its shipping container:
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia November 20th 2013
Post by: holgar5 on 09/17/2013 12:37 PM
New entry in the ESA launch blog:

http://blogs.esa.int/gaia/2013/09/17/from-vs-07-to-vs-06/
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia November 20th 2013
Post by: woods170 on 09/17/2013 12:40 PM
Cross post from the other thread, per Gaia QA, the mission name remains VS07

Per the new blog post, the mission has become VS06. It will also use the launcher from VS06. Only the specific fairing from the VS07 launcher will be retained for the Gaia mission.

http://blogs.esa.int/gaia/2013/09/17/from-vs-07-to-vs-06/ (http://blogs.esa.int/gaia/2013/09/17/from-vs-07-to-vs-06/)
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia November 20th 2013
Post by: Jester on 09/30/2013 05:34 PM
Stan, am I correct to assume the serial of this Soyuz is Е15000-004 ? (ex O3b)
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia November 20th 2013
Post by: Jester on 10/08/2013 12:37 PM
MLI and thermal protection installation
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia November 20th 2013
Post by: jacqmans on 10/11/2013 12:10 PM
Continued sunshield preparations bring Gaia closer to its deep-space Arianespace Soyuz launch

October 10, 2013 – Soyuz Flight VS06

Payload preparations for Arianespace’s next Soyuz launch are progressing well at the Spaceport in French Guiana, where the Gaia billion-star surveyor is receiving its sunshield for in-orbit telescope protection as well as power generation.

This sunshield is one of the final elements in completing the European Space Agency’s Gaia, the installation of which has been performed by the assembly, integration and testing team of prime contractor Astrium – with support from Spain’s SENER, which produced the sunshield.

The latest activities involved placement of the inner thermal blankets for Gaia’s multi-layer sunshield insulation, as well as incorporation of solar array panels that will provide energy to power all on-board electronics. Both elements are positioned on the sunshield’s carbon-fiber reinforced composite framework, which also was integrated at the Spaceport.

When the sunshield’s 12 folding frames are opened in orbit after launch by Arianespace’s Soyuz, the fully-insulated sunshield will form a flat disc at the base of Gaia – shading its telescope from the sun and maintaining the spacecraft’s scientific instruments at a constant temperature of approximately -100 degrees Celsius. This will allow Gaia to perform its ambitious mission of making the largest, most precise three-dimensional map of the Milky Way by surveying an unprecedented one percent of its 100 billion stars.

Solar array panels for spacecraft power

The solar array panels fixed to the sunshield will provide approximately 1,850 Watts of electrical power, to be used by Gaia for powering the data processing computers, along with the communications, navigation and thermal control systems.

A massive amount of data will be collected over Gaia’s planned five-year mission, with its full archive to exceed 1 petabyte in size – providing enough information to answer questions related to the origin, structure and evolutionary history of the galaxy.

Gaia will be orbited on Arianespace’s Flight VS06, which is scheduled for liftoff on November 20 from the Spaceport.  As indicated by the company’s launcher family numbering designation, this will be the Spaceport’s sixth liftoff with medium-lift vehicle since its introduction at French Guiana in October 2011 by Arianespace.

After being deployed by Soyuz, the 2,030-kg. hexagonal/conical-shaped spacecraft will follow a flight path to an orbit around the Sun at the second Lagrange point (L2) – a distance of 1.5 million kilometers from Earth.  This makes Gaia the first deep space payload launched by Arianespace with Soyuz from the Spaceport.

http://www.arianespace.com/news-mission-update/2013/1100.asp
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia November 20th 2013
Post by: Jester on 10/14/2013 03:12 PM
Deployment test
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia November 20th 2013
Post by: Jester on 10/15/2013 11:01 AM
http://tinyurl.com/p4jw3fz
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia November 20th 2013
Post by: jacqmans on 10/15/2013 05:31 PM
Gaia “opens up” at the Spaceport in preparation for Arianespace’s next Soyuz launch
 

October 14, 2013 – Soyuz Flight VS06


     Arianespace’s payload for the Soyuz VS06 mission in November is now ready to take in some sun on its upcoming deep-space trip, as the completed sunshield for Europe’s billion-star surveyor – Gaia – has been opened and validated for the final time at the Spaceport in French Guiana.

During activity in the Spaceport’s S1B clean room facility (pictured, from top to bottom), Gaia’s completed sunshield – which is composed of a carbon-fiber reinforced composite framework with thermal blankets covering the structural skeleton – was lowered around the spacecraft’s base, forming a flat disc more than 10 meters across.

Once deployed in space, this disc will shade Gaia from the Sun, maintaining a -110°C approximate temperature for its scientific instruments. In addition, the sunshield is equipped with solar array panels to power all onboard electronics, including data processing computers, as well as the communications, navigation and thermal control systems.

Operating under contract to the European Space Agency, the sunshield’s installation was performed by prime contractor Astrium’s assembly, integration and testing team – with support from Spain’s SENER, which is responsible for the sunshield’s design and manufacture.

With a liftoff mass of approximately 2,030 kg. for its Arianespace Soyuz launch, Gaia is tasked with the ambitious mission of measuring the position and velocity of approximately one billion stars, as well as determining their brightness, temperature, composition and motion through space, while creating a three-dimensional map of the Milky Way Galaxy.

This spacecraft’s scientific instruments can detect objects one million times fainter than the unaided human eye can see. For objects 4,000 times dimmer than human viewing limits, Gaia will measure to an accuracy of 24 microarcseconds – comparable to observing the diameter of one strand of human hair at a distance of 1,000 km.

As the first deep-space passenger on an Arianespace Soyuz flight from French Guiana, Gaia will operate from the second Lagrange point (L2) in its orbit around the Sun, which keeps it on pace with Earth, while allowing for a more stable viewpoint some 1.5 million kilometers away.

Designated VS06 in Arianespace’s numbering system, this flight – scheduled for a November 20 liftoff – represents the sixth mission of the medium-lift Russian workhorse from French Guiana since its initial launch from the Spaceport in 2011.

http://www.arianespace.com/news-mission-update/2013/1101.asp
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia November 20th 2013
Post by: jacqmans on 10/16/2013 07:24 PM
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia November 20th 2013
Post by: Jester on 10/21/2013 05:15 PM
A russian speaking little bird has mentioned there are "issues"
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia November 20th 2013
Post by: Nicolas PILLET on 10/21/2013 05:21 PM
According to a poster on our French forum, the launch is delayed. No more infos as for now.

http://www.forum-conquete-spatiale.fr/t15190p30-lancement-soyouz-vs06-gaia-date-a-venir
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia November 20th 2013
Post by: Stan Black on 10/21/2013 05:39 PM
Stan, am I correct to assume the serial of this Soyuz is Е15000-004 ? (ex O3b)

Yes

http://blogs.esa.int/gaia/files/2013/10/pic21.jpg
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia November 20th 2013
Post by: Jester on 10/21/2013 06:08 PM
Thanks Stan.

And according to several CSG people they might not even launch this year....
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia November 20th 2013
Post by: Salo on 10/22/2013 09:42 PM
http://www.arianespace.com/news-mission-update/2013/1102.asp

Soyuz launch with Gaia spacecraft is postponed for additional payload checks

October 22, 2013 – Soyuz Flight VS06

The upcoming Soyuz flight with Europe’s Gaia has been postponed at the customer’s request, allowing time for additional checks on this star-mapping scientific satellite.

A new launch date will be announced by Arianespace as soon as the spacecraft’s availability is confirmed.

Gaia was developed by the European Space Agency and produced by Astrium for a mission to chart a three-dimensional map of the Milky Way.  In the process, it will reveal the galaxy’s composition, formation and evolution.

With a liftoff mass of 2,030 kg., Gaia is to be placed on a trajectory to an orbit around the Sun at a location known as the L2 Lagrangian point.
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia November 20th 2013
Post by: Danderman on 10/23/2013 02:38 AM
A russian speaking little bird has mentioned there are "issues"
... implying that the issues are with the Russian hardware, not the satellite.
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia November 20th 2013
Post by: Jester on 10/23/2013 07:16 AM
A russian speaking little bird has mentioned there are "issues"
... implying that the issues are with the Russian hardware, not the satellite.


No, just a Russian source, the issue is with Gaia, I'm hearing its the same issue was O3b has, but no confirmation on this....
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia November 20th 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 10/23/2013 07:30 AM
A russian speaking little bird has mentioned there are "issues"
... implying that the issues are with the Russian hardware, not the satellite.


No, just a Russian source, the issue is with Gaia, I'm hearing its the same issue was O3b has, but no confirmation on this....

Wasn't the O3b satellites being built by Thales Alenia and GAIA by EADS Astrium? Do they share the same components?
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia November 20th 2013
Post by: Star One on 10/23/2013 03:16 PM

A russian speaking little bird has mentioned there are "issues"
... implying that the issues are with the Russian hardware, not the satellite.


No, just a Russian source, the issue is with Gaia, I'm hearing its the same issue was O3b has, but no confirmation on this....

What was the issue with that?
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia November 20th 2013
Post by: Danderman on 10/23/2013 03:25 PM
A russian speaking little bird has mentioned there are "issues"
... implying that the issues are with the Russian hardware, not the satellite.


No, just a Russian source, the issue is with Gaia, I'm hearing its the same issue was O3b has, but no confirmation on this....

Wasn't the O3b satellites being built by Thales Alenia and GAIA by EADS Astrium? Do they share the same components?

You are correct - GAIA is an Astrium bus, whereas O3b is Thales Alenia. Why they would have the same problem is a mystery.

Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia NET November end 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 10/23/2013 05:27 PM
http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Gaia/Gaia_launch_postponement_update (http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Gaia/Gaia_launch_postponement_update)

Yesterday, the decision was taken to postpone the launch of ESA’s Gaia mission after a technical issue was identified in another satellite already in orbit.

Gaia shares some of the components involved in this technical issue and prompt notification of this problem has allowed engineers working on the final preparations for Gaia’s launch to take additional precautionary measures.

The issue concerns components used in two transponders on Gaia that generate ‘timing signals’ for downlinking the science telemetry. To avoid potential problems, they will be replaced.

The transponders will be removed from Gaia at Kourou and returned to Europe, where the potentially faulty components will be replaced and verified. After the replacements have been made, the transponders will be refitted to Gaia and a final verification test made.

As a consequence of these precautionary measures, it will not be possible to launch Gaia within the window that includes the previously targeted launch date of 20 November.

The next available launch window is 17 December to 5 January 2014.

More details will be given as soon as they are available. The new launch date will be announced when the timeline for completing the additional work has been confirmed and the overall launch manifest of Arianespace has been established.

Gaia is ESA’s billion-star surveyor, designed to provide a precise 3D map of our Milky Way galaxy in order to understand its composition, formation and evolution.
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia NET November end 2013
Post by: Salo on 10/24/2013 04:12 AM
http://www.space-travel.com/reports/New_chief_urges_Ariane_5_modification_for_big_satellites_999.html
Quote
In other comments, Israel said his other big plan was to speed up launch preparation time at Kourou, so that a typically three-week gap between operations was reduced to two weeks.

Ariane-5 launch planned on December 13. Plus three weeks...
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia NET November end 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 10/29/2013 10:50 AM
http://www.space-travel.com/reports/New_chief_urges_Ariane_5_modification_for_big_satellites_999.html
Quote
In other comments, Israel said his other big plan was to speed up launch preparation time at Kourou, so that a typically three-week gap between operations was reduced to two weeks.

Ariane-5 launch planned on December 13. Plus three weeks...

In the end the Ariane 5 launch has been moved up to December 6 and GAIA is now scheduled for launch on December 20!  :)

It's not yet on Arianespace's web page, but I have received this e-mail message from them:

Quote

Arianespace launches VA216 and VS06 scheduled respectively for December 6 and 20, 2013

To allow the Gaia program to carry out additional checks on its satellite, Arianespace has switched the order of its two upcoming launches, with full agreement of its customers, moving the Ariane 5 ECA mission for SES and Hispasat ahead of the Soyuz launch for ESA.

Arianespace is now able to announce the planned dates of its next two launches, thanks to the combined efforts of the teams in charge of preparing the Gaia, ASTRA 5B and AMAZONAS 4A satellites, the teams in charge of the Ariane 5 and Soyuz launchers and the staff at the Guiana Space Center, CNES in particular, responsible for optimizing launch preparations:

VA216 – Ariane 5 ECA – Astra 5B and Amazonas 4A – December 6
VS06 – Soyuz – Gaia – December 20
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia NET December 17, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 10/29/2013 12:50 PM
According to http://www.spaceflightnow.com/tracking/index.html (http://www.spaceflightnow.com/tracking/index.html) the launch time on December 20 is 09:08:14 UTC.
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia NET December 17, 2013
Post by: grondilu on 10/29/2013 04:38 PM
A twelve-minutes-long video from Euronews about Gaia:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBMJI2UXlWc
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 20, 2013
Post by: Jester on 11/12/2013 10:29 AM
Updated CSG Logo
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 20, 2013
Post by: Star One on 11/17/2013 06:22 PM
New newspaper article on this mission.

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2013/nov/16/gaia-milky-way-space-probe
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 20, 2013
Post by: Jester on 11/20/2013 11:52 AM
Gaia in flight config back at the end of October


and the story of the transponder issue:
http://blogs.esa.int/gaia/2013/11/19/we-are-back/ (http://blogs.esa.int/gaia/2013/11/19/we-are-back/)
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 20, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 11/22/2013 03:39 PM
The launch has moved up one day: http://www.arianespace.com/news-press-release/2013/11-22-2013-VS06-launch-date.asp (http://www.arianespace.com/news-press-release/2013/11-22-2013-VS06-launch-date.asp)

Arianespace Flight VS06 Soyuz ST-B - Gaia: Launch set for Thursday, December 19, 2013
Evry, November 22, 2013

The checks on the Gaia satellite are proceeding nominally, enabling Arianespace in agreement with ESA to announce the launch date.

Liftoff of the Soyuz ST-B launcher is set for Thursday, December 19, at precisely:

09:12:18 am (UTC)
06:12:18 am (local time in French Guiana)
10:12:18 am (Paris)
04:12:18 am (Washington, D.C.)
12:12:18 pm (Moscow)
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: jacqmans on 12/06/2013 09:22 AM
Basic build-up is being completed for Arianespace’s Soyuz to launch Gaia


December 4, 2013 - Soyuz Flight VS06

The Soyuz launcher for an ambitious mission of developing the Milky Way’s most precise three-dimensional map is completing its basic build-up following mating of the vehicle’s Block I third stage in French Guiana.

This step occurred in the Spaceport’s MIK Launcher Integration Building, enabling checkout of the integrated Soyuz prior to its upcoming transfer to the launch pad – where the European Space Agency’s Gaia star-mapper satellite and Fregat upper stage will be installed.

Scheduled for liftoff on December 19, the mission – designated Soyuz Flight VS06 – will be Arianespace’s sixth with the workhorse Russian-built launcher from French Guiana since its service entry at the Spaceport in October 2011.

Gaia will make the largest three-dimensional map of the Milky Way by surveying an unprecedented one percent of its 100 billion stars. The Astrium-built spacecraft also is expected to discover hundreds of thousands of unknown celestial objects, including extra-solar planets and failed stars known as brown dwarfs.

http://www.arianespace.com/news-mission-update/2013/1112.asp
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: bolun on 12/10/2013 09:14 AM
The story of our fairing logo

http://blogs.esa.int/gaia/2013/12/03/the-story-of-our-fairing-logo/
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: jacqmans on 12/10/2013 07:55 PM
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: bolun on 12/12/2013 07:48 PM
Gaia is positioned for its star-mapping launch on an Arianespace Soyuz

December 11, 2013 - Soyuz Flight VS06

The payload “stack” is now taking shape for this month’s Arianespace launch of Gaia – Europe’s billion-star mapper satellite, which is to be lofted by a Soyuz vehicle on December 19 from French Guiana.

As the latest milestone in a now well-established processing flow for Arianespace’s medium-lift Soyuz, Gaia was positioned atop the launcher’s Fregat upper stage during activity in the Spaceport’s S3B preparation building.  Fregat is an autonomous, highly flexible upper stage that will perform two separate burns in sending Gaia on its way to an orbit around the Sun at the L2 Lagrangian point.

The next processing step is to encapsulate the Gaia/Fregat combination in a two-piece payload fairing, readying the unit for mating to Soyuz after the vehicle’s rollout from its separate MIK integration building – where the Russian-built launcher was assembled.

Gaia is designed to observe one billion stars in the Milky Way approximately 70 times each during a mission design life of 5.5 years, and has a liftoff mass of 2,030 kg.

Built by Astrium at its Toulouse, France facility, Gaia will be operated by the European Space Agency to provide a representative sample from which properties of the entire galaxy can be measured, ultimately allowing astronomers to determine its origin and evolution.

Gaia will be launched on Arianespace’s sixth Soyuz flight performed from the Spaceport since 2011, where this workhorse launcher is operational alongside the company’s heavy-lift Ariane 5 and lightweight Vega vehicles.

http://www.arianespace.com/news-mission-update/2013/1114.asp

Launch window for Soyuz VS06

UTC at 09:12:19 a.m. on December 19
 
Kourou, French Guiana at 06:12:19 a.m. on December 19

Paris, France at 10:12:19 a.m. on December 19
 
Washington, D.C. at 04:12:19 a.m.on December 19
 
Moscow, Russia at 01:12:19 p.m. on December 19
 
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: jacqmans on 12/14/2013 11:24 AM
Gaia “sees” its first stars during preparations for Arianespace’s December 19 Soyuz launch

December 13, 2013 - Soyuz Flight VS06

Europe’s Gaia spacecraft – to be lofted by Arianespace next week on a mission to map the Milky Way – has “seen” its initial stars with the spacecraft’s encapsulation in the payload fairing during final preparations at the Spaceport.

The 11.4-meter tall payload fairing will protect Gaia during its initial ascent aboard Arianespace’s medium-lift Soyuz launcher, which is to lift off from French Guiana in the early morning hours of December 19.

This fairing has been adorned with the European Space Agency’s logo for the deep-space flight – a 5.5-year adventure to observe one billion stars in the Milky Way approximately 70 times each.

Featured on the graphic is a representation of Gaia – the Greek mythological Mother Goddess, creator and giver of birth to Earth and the Universe.  She is depicted looking at the Milky Way as the Gaia spacecraft makes its way through space, symbolizing humankind’s curiosity towards the Universe.

Gaia’s encapsulation in the two-piece payload fairing occurred inside the Spaceport’s S3B clean room facility, enabling this completed unit’s subsequent transfer to the launch pad once its Soyuz vehicle has been rolled out and erected.

The Astrium space unit of EADS produced Gaia under contract to the European Space Agency.  With a liftoff mass estimated at 2,034 kg., it will be the 25th scientific satellite launched by Arianespace.

http://www.arianespace.com/news-mission-update/2013/1115.asp
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: bolun on 12/14/2013 01:31 PM
Gaia secured inside fairing

13 December 2013

ESA’s billion-star surveyor Gaia, less than a week from launch, is now tucked up inside the fairing that will protect it during the first few minutes of ascent into space.

Last week, Gaia was loaded with the propellants it will need to journey to its ‘L2’ destination, a gravitationally stable location 1.5 million km away from Earth, from where it will survey our Milky Way galaxy.

After fuelling, it was mounted on the Soyuz adapter and added to the Fregat upper stage, which will boost Gaia towards L2.

Meanwhile, the basic assembly of Soyuz – the boosters, core stage and third stage – has been completed in its integration building.

In the coming days, the Soyuz lower stages and the upper assembly containing Gaia will be transported to the launch pad and mated.

Launch is scheduled for 9:12:19 GMT (10:12:19 CET) on 19 December.

http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Gaia/Gaia_secured_inside_fairing
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Artyom. on 12/16/2013 10:33 AM
Soyuz rocket was transported to the launch pad

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157638667776286/
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Artyom. on 12/17/2013 02:07 AM
Gaia is integrated on its Soyuz launcher for this week's mission to the stars

The Gaia billion-star mapper is one major step closer to its unprecedented exploration mission, as the European-built spacecraft has now been positioned atop Arianespace’s Soyuz launcher in French Guiana.

This integration occurred during a busy weekend of activity at the Spaceport, in which the basic three-stage Russian-built Soyuz vehicle rolled out from its MIK integration building and was erected on the launch pad.

It was followed by transfer of the mission’s payload “stack” – consisting of Gaia, the Fregat upper stage, and their protective fairing – for integration atop Soyuz, which is inside a mobile gantry.

The mission’s star-mapping theme is evident with its logo affixed on the payload fairing, which portrays Gaia (the Greek mythological Mother Goddess) looking at the Milky Way and a representation of the Gaia spacecraft.

Appropriately, another field of stars is located on the transporter/erector used for the Soyuz’ horizontal rollout and its raising to vertical position on the launch pad.  Following a Russian tradition, the transporter/erector’s strongback has an array of five stars – representing the number of missions performed to date with the medium-lift workhorse from this launch site.

Gaia will be lofted by Arianespace during an early morning French Guiana liftoff on December 19, placing this spacecraft on a trajectory to an orbital position at the L2 Lagrangian point some 1.5 million kilometers beyond Earth’s orbit.

Capable of detecting celestial objects that are a million-times fainter than the unaided human eye can see, Gaia is equipped with two optical telescopes to determine star locations and velocities, along with three science instruments and one of the largest digital cameras ever to be placed in space.

The spacecraft has an estimated liftoff mass of 2,034 kg. and was produced by Astrium for a mission developed and operated by the European Space Agency.  Gaia will monitor each of its one billion target stars approximately 70 times during a five-year period, precisely charting their positions, distances, movements and changes in brightness. The mission is expected to discover hundreds of thousands of new celestial objects – including asteroids, comets, extra-solar planets, brown dwarf “failed stars,” supernovae and quasars.

This week’s flight with Gaia will mark the 25th scientific satellite launched by Arianespace.

http://www.arianespace.com/news-mission-update/2013/1117.asp
Title: Re: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: bolun on 12/18/2013 08:42 PM
http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Gaia/Gaia_has_ticket_to_ride

Quote
ESA’s Gaia mission to survey a billion stars is ‘go’ for launch. The satellite has passed its final checks and is ready to be launched tomorrow from Europe’s spaceport in Kourou.

Launch is set for 9:12:19 GMT (10:12:19 CET)
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/18/2013 10:51 PM
Moved for live coverage!
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Prober on 12/19/2013 12:30 AM
another space mini-flower spacecraft design....looking good
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Artyom. on 12/19/2013 02:00 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uszl9_ullmQ
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Artyom. on 12/19/2013 02:20 AM
Webcast:

http://www.arianespace.tv/
http://spaceinvideos.esa.int/esalive

Streaming starts at 08:50 GMT (09:50 CET).
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/19/2013 07:07 AM
Coming up on T-60 mins.
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/19/2013 07:48 AM
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/19/2013 07:58 AM
Off we go....
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/19/2013 08:00 AM
T-12 mins.
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/19/2013 08:01 AM
Going to be a chatty webcast it seems.
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/19/2013 08:01 AM
Heh, there's the French commentators.
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/19/2013 08:01 AM
Countdown showing.
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/19/2013 08:03 AM
L-2 Location.
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/19/2013 08:03 AM
Can see in the background they are all green on the countdown.
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/19/2013 08:04 AM
Gaia animation.
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/19/2013 08:04 AM
T-8 mins. ESA top boss having his say.
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/19/2013 08:05 AM
ESA manager (missed the name).
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/19/2013 08:05 AM
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/19/2013 08:06 AM
Closeup of payload fairing.
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/19/2013 08:06 AM
Roscosmos there, as you'd expect.
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/19/2013 08:07 AM
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/19/2013 08:07 AM
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/19/2013 08:07 AM
Venting at the pad.
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/19/2013 08:08 AM
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/19/2013 08:09 AM
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/19/2013 08:09 AM
All nominal so far.
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/19/2013 08:09 AM
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/19/2013 08:10 AM
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/19/2013 08:10 AM
Electrical umbilicals releases.
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/19/2013 08:11 AM
Green for launch.
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/19/2013 08:11 AM
T-60 seconds.
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/19/2013 08:11 AM
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/19/2013 08:12 AM
T-1 minute
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/19/2013 08:12 AM
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: aga on 12/19/2013 08:12 AM
launch
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/19/2013 08:13 AM
LAUNCH!!
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/19/2013 08:13 AM
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/19/2013 08:13 AM
Liftoff!
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/19/2013 08:13 AM
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: aga on 12/19/2013 08:14 AM
flying...
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/19/2013 08:14 AM
Nominal first stage.
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/19/2013 08:14 AM
Staging.

Nice view!
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: aga on 12/19/2013 08:15 AM
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/19/2013 08:15 AM
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/19/2013 08:15 AM
Booster separation.
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/19/2013 08:16 AM
Fairing sep. Amazing views.
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: aga on 12/19/2013 08:16 AM
amazing pictures
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/19/2013 08:16 AM
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/19/2013 08:17 AM
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/19/2013 08:17 AM
Live animation.
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: vyoma on 12/19/2013 08:17 AM
Launch captures.
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/19/2013 08:17 AM
Staging. On to the third stage burn.
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: aga on 12/19/2013 08:18 AM
third stage flying
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/19/2013 08:18 AM
Core stage sep.
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/19/2013 08:18 AM
All nominal.

Arianespace into promo videos.
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: aga on 12/19/2013 08:18 AM
tracking stations
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/19/2013 08:19 AM
Earth view. Now into Arianespace news.
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: aga on 12/19/2013 08:20 AM
arianespace signed about 20 contracts in 2013...
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/19/2013 08:21 AM
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/19/2013 08:21 AM
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Artyom. on 12/19/2013 08:21 AM
Third stage cut-off.

Fregat-MT separation
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/19/2013 08:22 AM
Staging. On to the Fregate.
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/19/2013 08:22 AM
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: aga on 12/19/2013 08:22 AM
third stage sep...
aos in natal
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Artyom. on 12/19/2013 08:24 AM
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/19/2013 08:24 AM
Looks like Fregat has started its burn.
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Artyom. on 12/19/2013 08:25 AM
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: aga on 12/19/2013 08:25 AM
1st fregat burn cut-off
9 min coast coming
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/19/2013 08:25 AM
First burn completed.
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/19/2013 08:26 AM
Fregat burning. Its now cutoff.
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/19/2013 08:28 AM
63 launchers on order.
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/19/2013 08:32 AM
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Artyom. on 12/19/2013 08:34 AM
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/19/2013 08:34 AM
Second burn underway. 15 min burn.
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/19/2013 08:35 AM
Second ignition.
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: aga on 12/19/2013 08:35 AM
2nd fregat ignition
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Artyom. on 12/19/2013 08:37 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKi3c-BufRk
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/19/2013 08:39 AM
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/19/2013 08:42 AM
Nice set of images in one image via ESA:
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/19/2013 08:43 AM
30 mins into the flight.
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/19/2013 08:43 AM
Still burning.
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/19/2013 08:47 AM
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Artyom. on 12/19/2013 08:49 AM
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: jacqmans on 12/19/2013 08:49 AM
Liftoff of Arianespace’s Soyuz mission with Gaia
 
December 19, 2013 – Soyuz Flight VS06

Arianespace’s Soyuz launcher has begun its sixth flight from the Spaceport, carrying Europe’s Gaia star-mapper spacecraft for an ambitious mission to chart the Milky Way.

With an on-time liftoff from French Guiana at 6:12 a.m., the Soyuz is to deploy its payload at the completion of a nearly 42-minute flight.

Gaia has an estimated liftoff mass of 2,034 kg. and was produced by Astrium for a mission developed and operated by the European Space Agency.  Gaia will monitor each of its one billion target stars approximately 70 times during a five-year period, precisely charting their positions, distances, movements and changes in brightness.

It is the 25th scientific satellite to be launched by Arianespace.

http://www.arianespace.com/news-mission-update/2013/VS06-liftoff.asp
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: aga on 12/19/2013 08:49 AM
2nd fregat burn cut-off
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Artyom. on 12/19/2013 08:50 AM
Second burn completed.
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/19/2013 08:50 AM
Second cutoff.
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/19/2013 08:50 AM
Four mins to S/C Sep.
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: aga on 12/19/2013 08:54 AM
gaia sep confirmed...
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Artyom. on 12/19/2013 08:55 AM
And we have Gaia separation  :) !!!

My congratulations  ;) !
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/19/2013 08:55 AM
S/C Sep!

Congrats to all concerned.

Thanks to all who helped with coverage!
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: aga on 12/19/2013 08:55 AM
gaia flying...
congratz to all
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Artyom. on 12/19/2013 08:55 AM
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Artyom. on 12/19/2013 08:56 AM
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Artyom. on 12/19/2013 08:56 AM
 8)
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/19/2013 08:57 AM
Successful Fregat separation! Congratulations to Arianespace and ESA for the successful launch and deployment. I must also congratulate Arianespace on their excellent coverage of the launch. Other launch providers can learn a lesson or two from this.
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Rocket Science on 12/19/2013 08:58 AM
Congrats to all the teams, well done! Thanks for the great coverage NSF! :)
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: jcm on 12/19/2013 08:59 AM
Congrats ESA and GAIA team! (and congrats to Will O'Mullane of the ESAC team who I see on the live stream sitting in the Jupiter control room :-)). Looking forward to sunshade deploy, L2 arrival, and in a few years the first release of the Gaia star catalogue!
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: owais.usmani on 12/19/2013 08:59 AM
Other launch providers can learn a lesson or two from this.

Replace "Other" with "Russian".
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: tlesinsk on 12/19/2013 09:01 AM
Gaia will ignite its engine 27 hours after launch to raise its apogee to L2 altitude, insertion burn  a week later, and science commissioning in 4 months.
Title: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Star One on 12/19/2013 09:23 AM
Gaia will ignite its engine 27 hours after launch to raise its apogee to L2 altitude, insertion burn  a week later, and science commissioning in 4 months.

Why is it using its own propulsion to get into the L2 altitude, could not the Fregat have done the complete mission in this respect?

BBC News article on the launch.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-25426424
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Artyom. on 12/19/2013 10:05 AM
ESA Operations ‏@esaoperations
Confirmation: #Gaia critical sunshield deployed. Began at 1hr:17min into flight lasting 10 mins.
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Artyom. on 12/19/2013 10:08 AM
http://spaceinimages.esa.int/Images/2013/12/Gaia_liftoff4
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Artyom. on 12/19/2013 11:15 AM
Roscosmos video of the launch

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKh4552E3co
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: robertross on 12/19/2013 11:24 AM
Congrats to all!

Great coverage, thanks
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Star One on 12/19/2013 11:26 AM
Quote
Staff at Astrium, in Hilsea, pictured, watched the launch of the Gaia satellite this morning, on its mission to map the galaxy.

Parts of the satellite, including its propulsion and telecoms systems, were built at the space firm’s Portsmouth base.

http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/business/local-business/workers-celebrate-as-satellite-begins-mission-to-map-the-stars-1-5759924
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: bolun on 12/19/2013 12:03 PM
N° 44–2013: Liftoff for ESA’s billion-star surveyor

19 December 2013

ESA’s Gaia mission blasted off this morning on a Soyuz rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, on its exciting mission to study a billion suns. 

Gaia is destined to create the most accurate map yet of the Milky Way. By making accurate measurements of the positions and motions of 1% of the total population of roughly 100 billion stars, it will answer questions about the origin and evolution of our home Galaxy. 

The Soyuz launcher, operated by Arianespace, lifted off at 09:12 GMT (10:12 CET). About ten minutes later, after separation of the first three stages, the Fregat upper stage ignited, delivering Gaia into a temporary parking orbit at an altitude of 175 km.

A second firing of the Fregat 11 minutes later took Gaia into its transfer orbit, followed by separation from the upper stage 42 minutes after liftoff. Ground telemetry and attitude control were established by controllers at ESA’s operations centre in Darmstadt, Germany, and the spacecraft began activating its systems.

The sunshield, which keeps Gaia at its working temperature and carries solar cells to power the satellite, was deployed in a 10-minute automatic sequence, completed around 88 minutes after launch.

Gaia is now en route towards an orbit around a gravitationally-stable virtual point in space called L2, some 1.5 million kilometres beyond Earth as seen from the Sun.

Tomorrow, engineers will command Gaia to perform the first of two critical thruster firings to ensure it is on the right trajectory towards its L2 home orbit. About 20 days after launch, the second critical burn will take place, inserting it into its operational orbit around L2.

A four-month commissioning phase will start on the way to L2, during which all of the systems and instruments will be turned on, checked and calibrated. Then Gaia will be ready to begin its five-year science mission.

Gaia’s sunshield will block heat and light from the Sun and Earth, providing the stable environment needed by its sophisticated instruments to make an extraordinarily sensitive and precise census of the Milky Way’s stars.

“Gaia promises to build on the legacy of ESA’s first star-mapping mission, Hipparcos, launched in 1989, to reveal the history of the galaxy in which we live,” says Jean-Jacques Dordain, ESA’s Director General.

“It is down to the expertise of Europe’s space industry and scientific community that this next-generation mission is now well and truly on its way to making ground-breaking discoveries about our Milky Way.”

Repeatedly scanning the sky, Gaia will observe each of the billion stars an average of 70 times each over the five years. It will measure the position and key physical properties of each star, including its brightness, temperature and chemical composition.

By taking advantage of the slight change in perspective that occurs as Gaia orbits the Sun during a year, it will measure the stars’ distances and, by watching them patiently over the whole mission, their motions across the sky.

The position, motion and properties of each star provide clues about its history, and Gaia’s huge census will allow scientists to piece together a ‘family tree’ for our home Galaxy.

The motions of the stars can be put into ‘rewind’ to learn more about where they came from and how the Milky Way was assembled over billions of years from the merging of smaller galaxies, and into ‘fast forward’ to learn more about its ultimate fate.

“Gaia represents a dream of astronomers throughout history, right back to the pioneering observations of the ancient Greek astronomer Hipparchus, who catalogued the relative positions of around a thousand stars with only naked-eye observations and simple geometry,” says Alvaro Giménez, ESA’s Director of Science and Robotic Exploration.

“Over 2000 years later, Gaia will not only produce an unrivalled stellar census, but along the way has the potential to uncover new asteroids, planets and dying stars.”

By comparing its repeated scans of the sky, Gaia will also discover tens of thousands of supernovas, the death cries of stars as they reach the end of their lives and explode. And slight periodic wobbles in the positions of some stars should reveal the presence of planets in orbit around them, as they tug the stars from side to side.

Gaia will also uncover new asteroids in our Solar System and refine the orbits of those already known, and will make precise tests of Einstein’s famous theory of General Relativity.

After five years, the data archive will exceed 1 Petabyte or 1 million Gigabytes, equivalent to about 200 000 DVD’s worth of data. The task of processing and analysing this mountain of data will fall to the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium, comprising more than 400 individuals across at scientific institutes across Europe.

“Where Hipparcos catalogued 120 000 stars, Gaia will survey almost 10 000 times as many and at roughly 40 times higher precision,” says Timo Prusti, ESA’s Gaia project scientist.

“Along with tens of thousands of other celestial and planetary objects, this vast treasure trove will give us a new view of our cosmic neighbourhood and its history, allowing us to explore the fundamental properties of our Solar System and the Milky Way, and our place in the wider Universe.”

“After years of hard work and determination of everyone involved in the mission, we are delighted to see our Gaia discovery machine on the road to L2, where we will continue the noble European tradition of star charting to decipher the history of the Milky Way,” adds Giuseppe Sarri, ESA’s Gaia project manager.

The spacecraft was designed and built by Astrium, with a core team composed out of Astrium France, Germany and the United Kingdom.

About the European Space Agency

The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe's gateway to space.

ESA is an intergovernmental organisation, created in 1975, with the mission to shape the development of Europe's space capability and ensure that investment in space delivers benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.

ESA has 20 Member States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, of whom 18 are Member States of the EU.

ESA has Cooperation Agreements with eight other Member States of the EU. Canada takes part in some ESA programmes under a Cooperation Agreement.

ESA is also working actively with the EU, for the implementation of the programmes Galileo and Copernicus.

By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, ESA can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country.

ESA develops the launchers, spacecraft and ground facilities needed to keep Europe at the forefront of global space activities.

Today, it launches satellites for Earth observation, navigation, telecommunications and astronomy, sends probes to the far reaches of the Solar System and cooperates in the human exploration of space.

Learn more at www.esa.int
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http://www.esa.int/For_Media/Press_Releases/Liftoff_for_ESA_s_billion-star_surveyor
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: LegendCJS on 12/19/2013 02:51 PM
A question about Gaia telescope's resolving ability. The coverage on CNN is touting this line that Gaia's

Quote
  makers say the telescope is so sensitive that it could measure a person's thumbnail from the Moon
.

presumably from earth?

This capability seems to be way beyond any current earth based telescope or even hubble. I say this because I had read convincing arguments that direct imaging of the Apollo landing site hardware from Earth was flat out impossible given any current optical telescope capabilities.  Is the statement playing with the word "measure" and the Gaia engineers don't actually mean resolve?  If this is true what do they mean by measure?

Another line in the article says width of a human hair from 1000 km.  That kind of resolving power would let spy satellites take peoples fingerprints from LEO fo crying out loud... What gives?

The only thing I can think of is that it has to do with the parallax type distance measurement's Gaia specializes in. Maybe the quote means that the resolution in position is on the order of a human thumbnail at lunar distances, and CNN's writer is not being clear.
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: belegor on 12/19/2013 03:02 PM
I find this article explains it very well (and goes into a lot of detail on how this capability is achieved):
http://www.theengineer.co.uk/aerospace/in-depth/gaia-the-cosmic-camera-that-will-chart-a-billion-stars/1016691.article (http://www.theengineer.co.uk/aerospace/in-depth/gaia-the-cosmic-camera-that-will-chart-a-billion-stars/1016691.article)
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/19/2013 03:06 PM
http://spaceinimages.esa.int/Images/2013/12/ (http://spaceinimages.esa.int/Images/2013/12/)
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Star One on 12/19/2013 06:02 PM
Quote
Custom designed, manufactured and tested by UK manufacturer e2v technologies, the CCDs at the heart of what is effectively the largest digital camera ever launched are expected to reveal tens of thousands of previously unseen objects, ranging from asteroids in the Solar System and planets around nearby stars to supernovae in other galaxies.

For the brightest objects, says e2v, radial velocities - movement towards and away from the satellite - will be measured by looking at the spectra produced by certain stars in a narrow range of the near-infrared region.

The UK firm said of its CCD91-72 sensors on board Gaia: “e2v’s specialist technology has been implemented into each of the image sensors, with functionalities like charge injection, anti-blooming and TDI gate structures to meet the specific needs of the mission.”

“There are three variants of the CCD91-72, each optimised for different wavelengths in the range 250 to 1,000nm. The CCD package is three-sided buttable, to minimize the dead space between CCDs when they are tiled together in the mosaic and all CCDs have been through e2v’s world leading back thinning process.”

Each of the CCDs provides a 4500 x 1966 pixel array, meaning that the entire assembly effectively represents a remarkable 937 megapixel digital camera, and is approximately the same size as a 37-inch LCD television.

http://optics.org/news/4/12/28
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Nicolas PILLET on 12/19/2013 06:14 PM
Cross post from the other thread, per Gaia QA, the mission name remains VS07

Per the new blog post, the mission has become VS06. It will also use the launcher from VS06. Only the specific fairing from the VS07 launcher will be retained for the Gaia mission.

http://blogs.esa.int/gaia/2013/09/17/from-vs-07-to-vs-06/ (http://blogs.esa.int/gaia/2013/09/17/from-vs-07-to-vs-06/)

Why this launch fairing is "specific" ? It is not standard 81KS fairing ?
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: LouScheffer on 12/19/2013 06:40 PM
A question about Gaia telescope's resolving ability. The coverage on CNN is touting this line that Gaia's

Quote
  makers say the telescope is so sensitive that it could measure a person's thumbnail from the Moon
.

presumably from earth?

This capability seems to be way beyond any current earth based telescope or even hubble. I say this because I had read convincing arguments that direct imaging of the Apollo landing site hardware from Earth was flat out impossible given any current optical telescope capabilities.  Is the statement playing with the word "measure" and the Gaia engineers don't actually mean resolve?  If this is true what do they mean by measure?

Another line in the article says width of a human hair from 1000 km.  That kind of resolving power would let spy satellites take peoples fingerprints from LEO fo crying out loud... What gives?

The only thing I can think of is that it has to do with the parallax type distance measurement's Gaia specializes in. Maybe the quote means that the resolution in position is on the order of a human thumbnail at lunar distances, and CNN's writer is not being clear.
These accuracies are only possible since you need location, not resolution.  The light from each star is spread across adjacent pixels.  By comparing the ratios of intensity at adjacent pixels, the center of the response can be determined to something like 1/10,000 of a pixel.  So the location can be about 10^4 times better than the resolution.  So the same system that can measure a hair (accuracy 30 u) from 1000 km can only resolve 30 cm pixels.  Likewise, on the moon, about 400 times further away, you can measure to 12 mm (fingernail) but only resolve 120 meter pixels.
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Star One on 12/19/2013 06:44 PM
I am surprised nobody has piped up online from what I have seen about it spotting items like Dyson Spheres?:)
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 12/19/2013 08:27 PM
I might have missed it up-thread but have ESA announced when they're expecting First Light yet?
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Danderman on 12/19/2013 10:25 PM
Gaia will ignite its engine 27 hours after launch to raise its apogee to L2 altitude, insertion burn  a week later, and science commissioning in 4 months.

Why is it using its own propulsion to get into the L2 altitude, could not the Fregat have done the complete mission in this respect?



Fregat is neither designed to last a week in space, nor has the avionics to maneuver that far from Earth.

There is an upgrade package for Fregat to allow such operations, specially designed for the Phobos-Grunt mission.
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Lewis007 on 12/20/2013 06:28 AM
I believe the launchkit and Gaia brochure have not been posted yet
Title: Re: Arianespace to launch Gaia; ESA mission will observe a billion stars
Post by: akula2 on 12/20/2013 07:29 AM
It's a great mission indeed; can't wait to watch some amazing pictures shot by Gaia  :)

Interested in knowing:

a) is it 100% EU design & manufacturing? any sub-contracts out of EU?
b) the project cost + launch cost?
c) how much Russians got for Soyuz Flight VS06?
d) total time taken from concept to launch? 7 years?

"Today Gaia passed the Flight Acceptance Review successfully. Launch slot 17 November - 5 December 2013 agreed."
Can anyone share a little more about this process? Thanks.

"shipment No.2: #Gaia’s sunshield and ground support equipment ready for transport from Toulouse to French Guiana. Take-off later today." [8:50am 25/8/13]

"#Gaia’s 10m diameter sunshield will shade the spacecraft’s sensitive telescopes and cameras http://spaceinvideos.esa.int/Videos/2013/06/Gaia_sunshade_deployment (http://spaceinvideos.esa.int/Videos/2013/06/Gaia_sunshade_deployment)" [8:56am 25/8/13]
As in commercial businesses, do these Space-related shipments attract any form of duty (since it's an EU project)?

One more Q:

Gaia is designed to observe one billion stars in the Milky Way approximately 70 times each during a mission design life of 5.5 years, and has a liftoff mass of 2,030 kg.

Why not go for a few more years of life (say 10 yrs) as in heavy 5-ton class Satellites? Is it because Fuel limitation or wear and tear or Instrument life or...? Thanks again.

ps: Gaia fairing logo story is nice, well done Joël Schopfer et al
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: akula2 on 12/20/2013 07:42 AM
Staging. On to the Fregate.

(http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=19838.0;attach=562549;image)
What happens to that left part? Space debris? Or falls back to Earth?

(http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=19838.0;attach=562633;image)

Where does this left part end up?

(http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=19838.0;attach=562587;image)

Propellant info: capacity, used, remains etc? Thank you


Gaia will monitor each of its one billion target stars approximately 70 times during a five-year period, precisely charting their positions, distances, movements and changes in brightness.


I'll go through more about this in my free time...
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/20/2013 07:56 AM
Interesting report of the launch from the Fregat control room at NPO Lavochkin (in Russian): http://russos.livejournal.com/1076784.html (http://russos.livejournal.com/1076784.html)
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: hop on 12/20/2013 08:00 AM
It's a great mission indeed; can't wait to watch some amazing pictures shot by Gaia  :)
There might be some images generated for engineering reasons, but in general the normal data products are not pictures. With a gigapixel sensor, downlinking all the raw data would be impractical, so the spacecraft will only send back the interesting parts. Kepler operated the same way.
Quote
b) the project cost + launch cost?
The cost quoted in many news reports is $1 billion for everything ($1 per star, not a bad deal ;))

Quote
Gaia is designed to observe one billion stars in the Milky Way approximately 70 times each during a mission design life of 5.5 years, and has a liftoff mass of 2,030 kg.

Why not go for a few more years of life (say 10 yrs) as in heavy 5-ton class Satellites? Is it because Fuel limitation or wear and tear or Instrument life or...? Thanks again.
I would expect the design life is based on what is required to accomplish the science goals. Gaia does require propellant for attitude control and trajectory corrections. Fine control pointing is done with a special cold gas system. It's safe to assume these systems have significant of margin, so it's unlikely they will run out right at the end of the nominal mission.
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Targeteer on 12/20/2013 09:23 AM
link from ESA on Facebook--Have you seen the cool video of Gaia? In the sky? Thanks to Nick James, in the UK, for sharing!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=jMqZqkOcibw
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 12/20/2013 09:44 AM
Staging. On to the Fregate.

(http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=19838.0;attach=562549;image)
What happens to that left part? Space debris? Or falls back to Earth?

Regarding the Soyuz second stage, I doubt it reached orbital velocity in its own right so it probably burned up within an hour or so.

Regarding the Fregat upper stage, I'd need to look at the details of the final orbit at spacecraft separation to be sure. However, sometimes such stages are left with very low perigees (low points over the Earth) so, within a few months their orbits decay and they burn up in the atmosphere. Occasionally they end up in semi-stable orbits in the Earth/Moon system and become space debris. I believe there is a Saturn-V third stage that was initially misidentified as a Near-Earth Asteroid.
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: aga on 12/20/2013 10:23 AM
Regarding the Fregat upper stage, I'd need to look at the details of the final orbit at spacecraft separation to be sure. However, sometimes such stages are left with very low perigees (low points over the Earth) so, within a few months their orbits decay and they burn up in the atmosphere. Occasionally they end up in semi-stable orbits in the Earth/Moon system and become space debris. I believe there is a Saturn-V third stage that was initially misidentified as a Near-Earth Asteroid.

from what i saw in a russian website (do not really remember which one), it performed a third burn and was positioned in a grave orbit of some sort
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: bolun on 12/20/2013 03:44 PM
https://twitter.com/ESAGaia

Quote
Day 2 manoeuvre of #Gaia completed. 7 minutes earlier than originally planned due to so precise Soyuz launch yesterday.
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: bolun on 12/20/2013 03:46 PM
https://twitter.com/ESAGaia

Quote
45 degree operational angle with respect to the Sun achieved by #Gaia. We are on the right way to L2 in the right inclination.
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Danderman on 12/20/2013 04:19 PM
Interesting report of the launch from the Fregat control room at NPO Lavochkin (in Russian): http://russos.livejournal.com/1076784.html (http://russos.livejournal.com/1076784.html)

Including this view of the trajectory.
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: jcm on 12/20/2013 04:24 PM
Staging. On to the Fregate.

(http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=19838.0;attach=562549;image)
What happens to that left part? Space debris? Or falls back to Earth?

Regarding the Soyuz second stage, I doubt it reached orbital velocity in its own right so it probably burned up within an hour or so.

Regarding the Fregat upper stage, I'd need to look at the details of the final orbit at spacecraft separation to be sure. However, sometimes such stages are left with very low perigees (low points over the Earth) so, within a few months their orbits decay and they burn up in the atmosphere. Occasionally they end up in semi-stable orbits in the Earth/Moon system and become space debris. I believe there is a Saturn-V third stage that was initially misidentified as a Near-Earth Asteroid.

All this is covered in the Arianespace press kit. http://www.arianespace.com/images/launch-kits/launch-kit-pdf-eng/VS06-launchkit-GB2.pdf - see the diagram in page 7 which shows the Soyuz third stage (not second stage, since the
strapons are counted as the first stage) in a -681 x 180 km suborbital path and the Fregat post-disposal in an orbit
with a 2 million km apogee, well outside the Earth's gravitational sphere of influence - so it will end up in solar orbit
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: edkyle99 on 12/20/2013 04:39 PM
... the Fregat post-disposal in an orbit with a 2 million km apogee, well outside the Earth's gravitational sphere of influence - so it will end up in solar orbit
Though apparently not, strictly speaking, boosted to escape velocity?

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: jcm on 12/24/2013 10:40 AM
... the Fregat post-disposal in an orbit with a 2 million km apogee, well outside the Earth's gravitational sphere of influence - so it will end up in solar orbit
Though apparently not, strictly speaking, boosted to escape velocity?

 - Ed Kyle

I was thinking about this, it's sort of interesting. The classical 'escape velocity' definition only applies to the restricted two-body problem, where Earth is the only massive body in the universe. In the restricted three-body system of Earth, Sun, spacecraft, the effective escape velocity - the velocity needed to make sure you never (well, hardly ever) come back to Earth - is slightly less! - One of these days I'll look into that properly.
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: bolun on 01/07/2014 11:28 AM
https://twitter.com/esaoperations

Quote
Today, @ESAGaia 's mission control team at #ESOC working in #MainControlRoom for tonight's critical #L2 orbit burn
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: bolun on 01/07/2014 03:38 PM
The flight dynamics expertise behind Gaia’s critical manoeuvre

http://blogs.esa.int/gaia/2014/01/07/the-flight-dynamics-expertise-behind-gaias-critical-manoeuvre/
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Jester on 01/07/2014 08:00 PM
ESA Operations ‏@esaoperations

#Gaia's Dave Milligan: Burn finished! Results look good! ESA's billion-star surveyor on course for arrial at #L2. News in website tomorrow
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: robertross on 01/07/2014 08:50 PM
ESA Operations ‏@esaoperations

#Gaia's Dave Milligan: Burn finished! Results look good! ESA's billion-star surveyor on course for arrial at #L2. News in website tomorrow

Excellent!

Thanks for passing that along.
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: bolun on 01/08/2014 08:12 AM
Gaia enters its operational orbit

8 January 2014

ESA’s billion-star surveyor Gaia is now in its operational orbit around a gravitationally stable virtual point in space called ‘L2’, 1.5 million km from Earth.

Gaia has been travelling towards L2 since 19 December, when, just before dawn local time, it was spectacularly launched from ESA’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

A day later, Gaia performed an important thruster burn to set course to its destination. Last night, a critical manoeuvre boosted Gaia into its 263 000 x 707 000 x 370 000 km, 180 day-long orbit around L2. A small course correction will be made next week to complete the manoeuvre.

http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Gaia/Gaia_enters_its_operational_orbit
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Launch Fan on 01/08/2014 04:45 PM
Great news for Gaia
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Jester on 01/13/2014 03:54 PM
great timelapse

http://www.esa.int/spaceinvideos/Videos/2014/01/Time-lapse_film_Soyuz_flight_VS06_with_Gaia
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: bolun on 01/14/2014 03:12 PM
https://twitter.com/esaoperations

Quote
#Gaia currently 1.24 mn km from Earth. #L2 arrival operations on track. Rotation has stopped & #Gaia is pointingcorectly to fire thrusters
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: bolun on 01/14/2014 03:14 PM
https://twitter.com/esaoperations

Quote
Today's #Gaia thruster burn has begun! Five thrusters are firing. All parameters look nominal

Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: bolun on 01/14/2014 03:15 PM
https://twitter.com/esaoperations

Quote
Today's 2nd insertion burn is needed to stabilise us at # L2 - otherwise we would eventually 'fall out' & drift into interplanetary space
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: bolun on 01/14/2014 06:33 PM
https://twitter.com/ESAGaia

Quote
#Gaia is in its operational Lissajous orbit around L2. The thruster burn today was perfect.
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: robertross on 01/14/2014 07:53 PM
https://twitter.com/ESAGaia

Quote
#Gaia is in its operational Lissajous orbit around L2. The thruster burn today was perfect.

awesome!
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 01/15/2014 05:14 PM
Ok, let's try this again (reworked it after making a boo boo on the EML-2 location being for Gateway not Gaia).

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2014/01/eml2-gaia-destination-future-possibilities/
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Joffan on 01/15/2014 10:50 PM
Nice article. I really look forward to the bonanza of understanding and discovery that the Gaia mission promises to unlock.
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: aga on 01/16/2014 05:45 AM
here's one picture:

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BeBr8mlCIAA8-4k.png)

from:
https://twitter.com/ESAGaia/status/423457053856636929

Quote
Sadalmelik as seen by #Gaia. Telescope not yet focused, but it is still a beauty. pic.twitter.com/U4D5980Kbr
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Star One on 01/16/2014 07:21 AM

Ok, let's try this again (reworked it after making a boo boo on the EML-2 location being for Gateway not Gaia).

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2014/01/eml2-gaia-destination-future-possibilities/

Thanks very informative article.
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: bolun on 01/16/2014 09:36 AM
http://blogs.esa.int/rocketscience/2014/01/08/did-you-see-the-cool-gaia-infographic/

Image credit: Astrium
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 01/17/2014 09:07 AM
Well! Time to open a Gaia Space Telescope thread on the Space Science forum, I think!
Title: Re: LIVE: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013
Post by: bolun on 02/06/2014 06:48 PM
Well! Time to open a Gaia Space Telescope thread on the Space Science forum, I think!

Ok!  ;)

ESA - Gaia updates

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=32644.0